In Eating smart, Food

More Healthy Recipes for 2019 from Our Culinary Team

If you’ve got it, flaunt it

Healthy Recipes for 2019We 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

Healthy Recipes for 20192 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.

Variation:

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)

Healthy Recipes for 20193 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!

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