My neighbor Barb is one of the reasons I’m vegan. She and her family have been low-fat vegan for a while and finally convinced Michael and I to give it a try. We did, we’re more healthy, we love it! Low-fat vegan cooking is a whole new beastie, when you’re used to olive oil and cheese and eggs. Barb is my go-to girl when I have questions like, “but how do you saute?” I love basil and make pesto every summer to preserve that lovely summery flavor all winter. But pesto has cheese. And oil. So, I went to Barb with a “but how do you…” question and of course, she had the answer. So yummy, so fresh. And an added bonus–no nuts! Barb’s allergic to tree nuts, so naturally, she makes her pesto without them. How could it be yummy without oil and cheese and nuts?! See for yourself:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8-12 cloves of garlic, depending on the size and how much you like garlic, minced
- juice of 2 limes (2/3 cup)
- juice of 1 lemon (1/2 cup)
- garlic salt to taste, or just regular salt–again, depends on your garlic tolerances 🙂
- 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn, thawed
- black pepper to taste
- enough fresh basil to fill your processor
Place everything in the bowl of a food processor with the chopping blade in place.
Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
To freeze for later, place 1/2 cup pesto into containers–I use snack size ziplocs and then place them into a labelled freezer bag.
Or, enjoy right away: on pasta, with crackers, with veggies, on a yummy garden-fresh tomato….
What do you like to eat pesto with?
Aka: Sopa De Flor De Calabaza. When Mom and Dad moved to New Mexico years ago, Mom immersed herself in all things Southwest, especially the flavors. She and Dad had a favorite restaurant in Palomas, Mexico called The Pink Store, where she ALWAYS ordered their Squash Blossom Soup. Last summer, as my plants produced more squash than I could keep up with, I decided a bit of flower pruning was in order and thought about Mom’ favorite soup. A squash plant makes tons more male flowers than female (the ones with a baby squash at the base of the blossom), so you can gather the male flowers for this soup. Or, if you need a break from squash, gather some female flowers as well. Without the recipe from The Pink Store, I was on my own with my friend, The Google. I selected a recipe that was attributed to Frida Kahlo–I think Mom would have liked the recipe with a history. And, like Mom would have, adjusted it it to ingredients I had on hand that stayed within the intent of the original recipe. So here you go, Mom:
I made this prior to becoming vegan, but it will be super easy to veganize the recipe this summer. I’ll place vegan substitutes in parenthesis.
- 1 white or yellow onion, peeled, and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter (use veggie or “No Chicken” broth for sauteing)
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off, or one package frozen corn
- chile peppers of your choice–I used 1 poblano and 1 jalepeno–finely chopped, seeded if you want less heat
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cups chopped summer squash–I used 1 zucchini and 2 patty pans
- 2 or 3 tomatillos, chopped
- 1-2 cups squash blossoms, cleaned and rough-chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth (No Chicken broth)
- tortilla chips
- plain yogurt (soy yogurt or skip altogether)
- lime wedges
In a large pot, melt butter (heat about 1/4 cup of broth) and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent. 3-5 minutes.
Add chile peppers, corn and cumin. Cook for an addition 2-3 minutes.
Add squash and tomatillos, cook 2-3 more minutes.
Separate the stems and sepals from the flowers.
Chop and add squash blossoms and continue to cook, 5 more minutes.
Add broth (No chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with toppings and enjoy!
Squash blossoms taste like squash, only more delicate. They add a luxurious texture and flavor layer to this soup; and for me, a lovely memory of my Mom.
Filed under appetizer, comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, Gluten-free, lunch, recipe, restaurants, side dish, Vegetarian
A couple weeks ago, Michael and I joined friends at Tahona Tequila Bistro in Boulder. We sat at the bar and were schooled in tequilas we had never heard of before. Michael’s and my favorite was Hacienda De Chihuahua Sotol Reposado. Not a true tequila, as it is not made from the required agave variety to be called tequila, but made from wild, organic, sustainably grown agave. The Reposado is aged in oak barrels. Reading the reviews in the link might make you think you’re at a wine review site, using words like warm spice, caramel, peppery, and complex. It is super smooth, without the bite I usually associate with a tequila. This Sotol is THE yummy-factor in these margaritas, and what I wanted to share with you most in this post.
If you make your own margaritas, the ingredients will be pretty familiar. I’m giving amounts in “parts” which can then be adjusted to make one margarita or a whole pitcher.
- 1/4 part orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec (economical–the one I have for just that reason) or Cointreau (pricey, but yummy)
- 1 part tequila (Get the Sotol–you’ll be soooo glad!)
- 3 parts premade margarita mix
- kosher salt–NOT table salt–the bigger crystals of kosher salt are what you want here
Start by assembling your ingredients. Cut a small wedge of lime and run it around the rim of each glass to moisten it.
Tip the moistened rim into a bowl of kosher salt.
Add ice cubes.
Add the tequila, Triple Sec (Cointreau), and margarita mix. I used a smallish shot glass to measure and doubled the amounts for these glasses. Cut a lime wedge, squeeze it into the margarita, drop it in, and give it a stir. Voila!
Alternately, you could mix the “parts” in a cocktail shaker and pour into the glasses for a colder drink and a bit of flair.
Perfect with Mexican food–we had fish tacos with these–or as a wind-down on a Friday afternoon with some chips. Yummy! If you’re ever in Boulder, CO, I highly recommend Tahona’s on Pearl St. Sit at the bar for the best “education.” The food is fabulous as well.
Filed under drinks, recipe