two garden pestos: arugula & walnut and carrot top

October 26, 2016

cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-12cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-3cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-2cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-13cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-4It has been one of those years. Not the languid lazy paced kind but the instead the maddeningly fast paced variety. Almost an entire year has passed since I left my London flat. Four full season and the entire thing seems to have passed by, quickly, quietly. The the dark hull of some massive ship, the year seems to have glided right on past, weightless and mostly without my looking up to realize.

The last few flurries of snow, the arrival of lilac and rhubarb and asparagus seems like only days ago but how quickly those faded. And then the peonies were out with gusto. A magnificent display of downy white against the green gardens. But, those too, like the first sweet strawberries and the alicious chive blossoms were gone all to quickly.

I was able to preserve a few things, making a violet and lilac syrup which are now put up in my fridge. I’ve been using them to drizzle over yogurt and mix into salad dressings. And both worked remarkable well with muddled mint and a splash of rum on the odd summer’s evening.

And now I am waking to chilly mornings where I find myself searching for the heavier robe and warmer slippers. Autumn seems to have slipped in through the open window while I was sleeping. Creeping up to that point where blankets meet skin and leaving its wonderfully cool welcome on my summer cheeks. Autumn’s weaker light, cool days and cold nights has taken its toll on the garden. That little plot of dark earth which so resolutely gave and gave its bounty all season, has begun its repose. Everything has slowed and many things have come to a halt completely. This slowing, coupled with a nightly fear that temperatures will drop and frost will nip what remains, have me frantically trying to preserve what remains.cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-7cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-5cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-8Canning has always been something I think of as a necessity. Done out of resourcefulness. But recently perhaps there is a second, equally motivational reason for putting up extra produce. One more akin to the taking of photographs than that resourceful proactive eye to the future. It is the selfish reason of capture, of not wanting something to end or disappear but instead willing it, forcing it to stay, preserving for oneself a bit of the magic of a fleeting moment.

The pesto recipes below are my attempt to capture a bit of that summer garden magic. To preserve the experience of walking out to the garden and picking exactly what is needed for the meal. The recipes below use arugula which has sustained us for most of the summer and the other uses up all the delicate lacy green carrot tops.

Though the arugula and walnut version is more of a pesto in the traditional sense the carrot top pesto (or you might say its more of a salsa verde because of the lack of cheese) is light and bright and filled with the sentiments of summer.

Of course pasta is an obvious choice for pesto but I like to think of new ways to use these extremely delicious and vibrant sauces. We have been having pesto on everything from breakfast scrambled eggs to oven roasted root vegetables. I’ve included a recipe for this savory zucchini galette below. It’s the current house favorite. A bit decadent with a buttery crust but the crust is rolled so incredibly thin. It’s so gorgeous served with a big portion of autumnal greens. I also love it with a crisp raw Belgian endive and fennel salad. cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-10Either pesto works for this tart, but I prefer the Arugula & Walnut

When making the arugula pesto, be sure to toast the walnuts ahead of time, they keep a nicer texture and flavor than if put in raw.

When making the carrot top pesto, make sure to use vibrant greens which have not been sprayed with anything. Use just the delicate leafy greens and not the hard central stock. cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-6For the Arugula & Walnut Pesto

  • 35g arugula. about 2 cups lightly packed
  • 65 g or 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 40g or 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a good pinch of salt. about 1/4 tsp
  1. in a food processor pulse together the grated garlic, salt and walnuts until the mixture has a rough chopped consistency.
  2. add in the parmigiano reggiano and pulse again until the mixture is well combined
  3. add the arugula and pulse again. continuing to pulse the food processor until the leaves also have a corse chopped consistency
  4. slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor until it is all added
  5. scrape down the bowl of the processor and pulse again if necessary, but pesto should retain a rustic texture
  6. tastes and season with a bit more salt if necessary

For the Carrot Top Pesto

  • 15g cilantro. about 1 cup lightly packed
  • 35g carrot greens. about 2 cups lightly packed
  • 35g or 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • a good pinch of salt. about 1/4 tsp
  •  1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon. about a generous tablespoon
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  1. in a food processor pulse together the grated garlic, salt and pinenuts until the mixture has a rough chopped consistency.
  2. add in the carrot tops and cilantro and pulse again. continuing to pulse the food processor until the leaves have a corse chopped consistency slowly add the lemon juice while pulsing
  3.  drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to pulse until all has been added
  4. scrape down the bowl of the processor and pulse again if necessary, but pesto should retain a rustic texture
  5. tastes and season with a bit more salt if necessary

cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-9For the Gslette

Either pesto works for this tart, but I prefer the Arugula & Walnut. I have also substituted spelt flour for the all-purpose flour on a few occasions and the crust comes out well thought noticeably less flaky. I run the zucchini over the mandolin (using the 1/16″ setting) so that the slices are thin and consistently the same size.

  • 113g or 1 stick cold butter
  • 150g or 1 cup all purpose flour (or spelt flour)
  • 2-3 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 batch of Arugula & Walnut pesto
  • 1 large zucchini sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • cracked black pepper
  1. cut the cold butter into 1/2 pieces then pulse  together with the flour in a food processor until it is the consistency of wet sand.
  2. Turn out the butter and flour mixture into a bowl and add the ice water, a few dribbles at a time, using a fork or clean hands to gently combine. You may not need all of the water so stop to check the dough by making a little test ball between your fingers. It should stick together when pressed. If its too dry and doesn’t stick, add a bit more water and test again. Do not add too much water or the crust will be tough.
  3. Divide the dough in half and gently press into discs. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours
  4. Pre-heat the over to 425
  5. flour your work surface or pastry cloth and roll out each crust as thinly as possible. then transfer the crust to a parchment lined baking sheet
  6. divide the pesto between each crust and spread on the dough, leaving a good inch from the outside edge free of pesto
  7. divide zucchini in half, leaving that same inch from the edge gap, start from the outside and to the center layer zucchini slices, with a small overlap, on top of the pesto mixture
  8. carefully fold the edge of the dough up over the outside edge of the zucchini and work around until a rustic edge is formed brush this edge generously with milk and place in the pre-heated oven to bake 30/40 minutes
  9. Check after 20 minutes, turn if necessary, and reduce heat to 375
  10. Leave it for 20 minutes more and check again. The galette should be evenly brown and zucchini will have shrunk up a bit and have some brown edges. Using a thin knife or spatula slide under one edge of the crust and carefully lift. If the bottom looks like it needs a little more time. Cook an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove and serve.cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-11

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