Trista's Spinach Pesto

Trista's spinach pesto

This summer I was looking to create an amazing vegetarian dish that would round out my menu for  my Josephine meals clients. I remembered that my husband told me about the barbecue he had when he first moved in to the house we live in now, much before I met him. He said that he decided to have grilled polenta with pesto for vegetarian guests. That sounded amazing to me & so I decided to create my own version. 

This is the pesto recipe that I made based on an appetizer recipe that I found. It is fabulous and so great to top many dishes! I hope that you enjoy it this summer as it is bright, flavorful and amazingly delicious! 

Trista's Spinach Pesto: 

Adapted from the book: Portland's Palate

Makes 2 cups pesto

 

2 large garlic cloves

1 cup pine nuts

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup fresh basil

1 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Note: You can add extra basil or spinach if you want your pesto to be thicker.

 

1. In the bowl of a large food processor, process the garlic until finely minced. 

2. Add the pine nuts and puree the mixture. 

3. Add in the spinach and basil, process until they are finely chopped. 

4. Add in the olive oil and process. 

5. Finally, add in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. At this point you can add more basil or spinach to reach your desired consistency. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper to taste. 

Enjoy! 

This is wonderful on top of a creamy, grilled polenta wedge! YUM!! 

 

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad

Fresh, light and perfectly summery! A great side salad for grilled main dishes this summer, this orzo salad has it all. It has the delicious texture of orzo, the creaminess of Gruyere cheese and the freshness of mint and lemon balm. I had fun coming up with this recipe and I hope that you enjoy it very soon with out cookout in your backyard. 

It all started when my lovely neighbor brought a package of this amazing gluten free orzo made from corn which has such a pretty yellow color to it. I knew I had to create an amazing salad with that ingredient and came up with this one. Enjoy it today! 

I'll be serving it this week for my customers. 

Gluten Free Lemon Balm and Mint Orzo Salad: 

About 6 small servings

1 1/2 cups gluten free orzo (dry) 

2+ tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon (juice and zest of) 

1 cup+ spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm, finely chopped

1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, cut into small cubes

1/3 cup sliced black olives

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the orzo in the boiling water according to the package directions. Drain the orzo, let cool for 2-3 minutes and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

2. You may serve this salad at room temperature or chilled. You can make it 1 day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy! 

 

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

I have the most lovely neighbor down the street! She is so generous and often brings me extra food, ingredients, tea and other goodies. I am so lucky! One thing she brought me was some extra feta cheese.  I just love this kind of cheese, it has such a delicious flavor, especially along with spinach and oregano- a kind of Greek quiche. 

I had a fun time adapting a quiche recipe that I had to create a lovely one that is perfect for spring! It is so amazing to have for breakfast, brunch or even dinner! 

I was very inspired by the amazingly beautiful oregano plants that have been growing for some time out in my garden. I am amazed that it keeps on growing and producing lots of delicious oregano for lots of my dishes. 

I hope that you enjoy this quiche with your friends and family very soon. 

Spinach and Fresh Oregano and Feta Quiche: 

Serves 6

1 gluten free pastry shell- pastry recipe below

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 small onion or half of a large onion, chopped finely

6 ounces chopped fresh spinach

1 tablespoon or more fresh oregano, chopped

8 ounces feta cheese 

salt and pepper

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the gluten free pastry shell (recipe below), place in freezer and set aside while you are making the filling. 

2. Preheat the oven to 375F (190 C) 

3. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Add in the spinach and saute until until reduced down- about 4-5 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture in a colander and squeeze out some of the extra liquid. Set aside to cool. 

4. When the spinach mixture is cooled, place it into a medium bowl and mix in the feta cheese, fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to taste the mixture to make sure it is seasoned enough. Place the spinach cheese mixture in the bottom of the pastry lined pie pan. 

5. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and heavy cream. Pour into the pie pan. Stir to combine the spinach/cheese mixture and the egg/milk mixture. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until set in the center. Let the quiche stand for 10 minutes until slicing and serving. 

GF Pastry Dough: 

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend (see recipe below) or use a gluten free flour blend 

1 tablespoon organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons coconut oil (heaping tablespoons) 

1 large egg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ice water

1. Mix together the brown rice flour blend (or use a packaged gluten free flour mix), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the 6 tablespoons coconut oil and process until the mixture is a coarse meal. 

2. In a separate bowl with a small wire whisk or fork, whisk together the egg and lemon juice. 

3. Slowly pour the egg-lemon juice mixture into the food processor and pulse. Add small amounts of ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist and clumps together. 

4. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten out into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Then, roll out between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press the rolled out pastry into the pie shell and flute the edges.  Put the pie shell into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes before baking. 

Brown Rice Flour Blend: 

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Mix together in a bowl with a wire whisk. You will have extra for another baking project later. 

Charred Corn, Basil and Tomato Salad

Charred Corn, Tomato and Basil Salad

Yummy, fresh salads! They are the staple of summer. This is an amazingly fresh, delicious and colorful salad that I made to accompany one of my Josephine meals during August. I served this salad with some yummy homemade barbecue chicken and brown rice. I loved this meal and my customers did too. It is the perfect combo for summer! 

I hope that you enjoy this salad in the last days of summer. I feel like we all need to savor the last days before school and our more hectic routines start up again. I am looking forward to a few more days of sun, time at the beach and time enjoying the simple pleasures of a backyard barbecue.

Charred Corn, Basil and Tomato Salad: 

This recipe is adapted from:  Bon Apetit Magazine

12 ears of corn, husks removed

coconut oil for greasing corn

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sliced red onion

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (I used the ones I grow in my garden) 

1/2 cup + fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme ( I grow two types of this herb in my garden) 

+ Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat your gas grill to high. Rub corn with coconut oil so it doesn't stick to the grill. 

2. Grill the corn until it is charred a bit and heated through- about 10-12 minutes total. 

3. Remove the corn from the grill and cool. Then, cut the kernels off of the cobs and place them in a bowl. 

4. Put the onion slices in a strainer and rinse them with cold water. 

5. Mix together the corn, onion, tomatoes, basil, lime juice, thyme together. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. 

This salad may be assembled 1 hour ahead of your event and let to stand at room temperature. Refrigerate for longer storage. Enjoy!