Hazelnut Pesto

I bought a bouquet of basil at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. When I picked it up, I knew it was large. When I got it home, the enormity of this bouquet really struck me. What’s a gal to do with so much basil? Pesto, of course.

I had raw hazelnuts in the house, so I decided on hazelnut pesto. I’d never made it before, but walnut pesto is great, so hazelnut pesto should be great, too. And, it is.

First, I roasted a couple cups of hazelnuts in the oven at 200 degrees until they became fragrant. Reminder: PAY CLOSE ATTENTION WHEN ROASTING NUTS! You turn your back for a second and they burn…

When they were cool, I peeled off the skin.

Then it’s all quite simple. I peeled some garlic from the market, washed the basil, found my olive oil.

It took four batches in my mini food processor, plus a little sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns, and I have multiple meals-worth of pesto.

Finally, I filled two ice cube trays to freeze my pesto so I can enjoy the flavors of the summer harvest in the fall or winter. When I thaw my little pesto cubes, I’ll add some grated┬áparmesan cheese.


Panko-Crusted Goat Cheese Sandwich

This was a really easy open-faced sandwich that I’ll likely start making somewhat frequently.

First, make some Cashew Pesto and spend the 30-40 minutes to caramelized a cipollini onion. Then, slice some goat cheese 1/3 inch thick. I had a log of Haystack Mountain Dairy’s Boulder Chevre, which I LOVE! Dunk the pieces in heavy whipping cream, roll them in panko, and bake on a parchment lined baking tray at 300 for 15 minutes of so. Flip once. You can bring them to the broiler for browning if you’d like.
Toast some bread- I had a ciabatta roll that I toasted. Then spread some cashew pesto, add sliced tomatoes, caramelized onions, and panko-crusted goat cheese.

Walnut Pesto

This is the best time of year because fresh produce is finally growing in Colorado. I have a basil plant at home, so now I can start making fresh pesto in a pinch.

I put a cup of walnuts, a cup of basil, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, some sea salt, crushed black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil in my food processor, and in a minute had pesto. Perfecto!

Summer Pasta in Cashew Pesto Sauce

I’m calling this dish “Summer Pasta” even though it resembles the famous spring pasta, Pasta Primavera. In Colorado, there is no chance of having fresh, local, outdoor grown tomatoes and peppers until well into the summer, so here we have summer pasta.

Follow the recipe for Cashew Pesto. Any kind of pest0 will do, but I’m very fond of cashew pesto right now.
For the pasta- boil up some penne, some shells, whatever you like. I always use whole wheat pasta. I added some fresh, raw, chopped purple pepper, sliced yellow tomatoes, and rinsed and drained cannellini beans. Mix together, coat in pesto, and enjoy.
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