Monday, January 5, 2009

A Ballad to my Cuisinart

Well not really... but I just can't resist expressing the love I have developed for my brand new Cuisinart Food Processor I was given on Christmas Day. Ahhh the creations that are going to take place in my kitchen, my imagination is running wild. Homemade pesto, fancy-schmancy salad dressings, creamy soups, sandwich spreads and the lovely stress reduction Chop On/Off Button! My love will not be contained!

Due to my knee surgery, I've been forced to be less active... this is tough if you know me well! Over the next couple months, my plan is to experiment with healthier sauces, soups, spreads/dips and salad dressings due to my new sedentary lifestyle. The emphasis will be flavor, and lots of it! Currently, there are a couple creations I have in mind:
  • Carrot Ginger dressing
  • Spinach pesto with Greek yogurt
  • Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup
  • Aioli creations
  • Anything with Mint
There is something so gratifying about having the ability to pulverize vegetables/herbs/fruit/etc. into delicious flavor combinations. Lets get started!

My first creation is a zippy, lemon pesto sans Parmesan cheese. With lemons in season, this pesto is a great way to add zang and zip to fish, salads and chicken using local and organic ingredients. Unfortunately, the basil is not in season; however, I was able to find some at my corner store... must be a California thing.

Lemony Pesto
1 bunch of basil (about 2 cups)
juice of a lemon
1 garlic clove
1/8 cup pignolias (pine nuts)
couple pinches of coarse sea salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil - or just a drizzle to add moisture
lemon zest to decorate

Remove the basil leaves from the stems and place in food processor. Roll the lemon with the palm of your hand on a hard surface to release the juices. After juicing the lemon, pour the juice over the basil leaves and add the garlic, salt, pine nuts and olive oil. Next, pulverize!! It should transform into a thick sauce. With a spatula, scrap pesto out into a small bowl. Top with some lemon zest or red chili flakes if you like the heat. Pesto should stay fresh for a couple of days.


Daily Spud said...

Would that I lived in a climate where lemons grew! I mean, of course I can get lemons in Ireland but I would just love to be able to grab some from the nearest lemon tree and transform them into things like that pesto :)

Karen Martell said...

I love how excited you are about Cuisinart. That said, I'm totally jealous. I don't even have a microwave or a dishwasher right now, haha. Life in Buenos Aires vs. San Francisco. These recipes are great Lisa. Keep them coming!

ms.sinn said...

AJ and I have perfected the spinach pesto with greek yogurt (as I'm sure you tasted at our last shindig) He actually does it better than me- so get the details from him.


Lisa Engel said...

Thanks Karen! Cookies are next ... when I get a chance to type up the recipe. So busy with work right now it's killing me!

Carrie: I just got the Spinach Dip recipe and am hoping I'll have time to make it this weekend. Yay!