More Healthy Recipes for 2019 from Our Culinary Team
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
We have plenty of fresh basil in our garden, so why not flaunt it a little with more healthy recipes for 2019, that show it off in different contexts?
That’s what Chef Maggie Thiel, Manager of Beacon Hill’s Garden Café, did. She created a progression of recipes for Pesto, Pesto Vinaigrette, and Pesto Cream Sauce, and she generously shares them with us here.
This is the second in a series of periodic blog posts that includes some of the staff’s original recipes. Be in touch with our team if you’d like to talk about these dishes … or other aspects of healthy, delicious eating.
Maggie starts with a simple, fresh basil pesto and then varies it with the addition of sundried tomatoes.
Summer Basil Pesto
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups fresh basil, removed from large tough stems
1 cup chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic
½ cup toasted pine nuts (cooled) *Can substitute walnuts
1 ½ cups good quality grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste (Salt content in the cheese can differ greatly.)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or blend and pulse until desired consistency is achieved.
A shorter time will produce a more rustic appearance … longer time will yield a smooth, bright green puree.
Store for up to a week in a covered mason jar, with a small layer of olive oil on top to prevent oxidation.
Freeze for up to 9 months in freezer bags.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Soak ¾ cup of sundried tomatoes in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain well.
Add to the Summer Pesto ingredients while processing. (You may need to drizzle in a little more olive oil for it to blend properly.)
Why stop there? Maggie doesn’t! In the next recipe, the Pesto becomes the basis for a Pesto Vinaigrette dressing with multiple uses: as a marinade, a salad dressing, a sauce, or a drizzle.
Pesto Vinaigrette (serves 6)
3 Tablespoons finished pesto
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup white balsamic or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Serving Suggestions:
- As a marinade for grilled chicken or salmon.
- As dressing for an Italian pasta salad.
- Toss it with zucchini, summer squash and onions before roasting at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- Drizzle over fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil in place of the usual balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
We’re not done! For a more subtle flavor, the ever-creative Maggie transforms the pesto into a cream sauce with a variety of applications, from pasta to chicken to seafood.
Pesto Cream Sauce (serves 6)
Slowly reduce 4 cups of heavy cream over medium-low heat until half the original volume. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/ 2 cup prepared pesto and 1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese until combined.
Pour over unrinsed cooked tortellini or pasta. Great with chicken and shrimp too!