One of my favorite things to do is to host parties. Dinner parties. Showers. Concerts. Birthdays. Or just a quiet evening with a friend or two. I pretty much consider it a party if I've got at least one person to cook for. Tonight I was determined to use the rest of the leftover bread I made the other night and I needed to use the basil in my kitchen also. I referred to one of my favorite pesto recipes from the Organic Cookbook, except I tweaked it a bit. I made garlic bread the way I always do but using the homemade bread made it even better. My friends and I gathered around the table, pumpkin candle lit, Josh Garrels on the stereo, and of course the food hot and ready to savor each bite..
Teebs' version of Basil Pesto
2 T. pine nuts*, lightly toasted
4 handfuls of fresh basil (or all you have, I use a lot)
2 handfuls of baby spinach, long stems removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4-6 T. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
a handful of nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (optional)
Process all ingredients except oil. Add enough oil so it's nice and smooth. I like texture so I don't process it too long. You can adjust it as needed by adding more spinach & basil or oil. I personally like my pesto very green and pasty. Set aside until needed. *Toast extra pine nuts if you would like to toss some on top of the pasta. Adds a delicious texture! (I actually used chopped walnuts on top)
I roasted broccoli by tossing it with olive oil, sea salt & pepper on a lined baking sheet and baked it at 375°F until tender and caramelized. For a side dish, I sauteed a little onion in a saucepan with olive oil and added sliced patty pan squash with sea salt and pepper until tender and lightly browned. YUM!Teebs' Garlic Bread
6 T. margarine (or butter, olive oil, or vegan margarine)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced (depending on your preference)
paprika, sea salt, black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped (dried works fine too)
favorite bread, sliced (french, italian, & ciabatta are good choices)
Preheat oven 375. In a small saucepan add margarine and garlic. Saute until margarine is melted and bubbly, you can cook it a few mins to brown garlic if you'd like. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and lay slices of bread down. Using a brush or spoon, coat slices with generously with melted margarine and chunks of garlic. Sprinkle with a little paprika, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Top with fresh parsley. If using dried parsley, you can put it on before baking.
This is one of my favorite meals to make. I love making this with a mixture of all kinds of roasted vegetables, whatever is on hand! And fellow hosts: It's always a hit!