Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Penne with Arugula Pesto and Stir Fried Radishes

Towards the end of CSA season we got lots of arugula. I made a bunch of pesto and froze it. About a month ago we had a dinner party and I came up with a twist on bruschetta. Using my cherished Christmas present, “The Flavor Bible” I discovered that arugula pairs well with radishes. For this bruschetta I put a layer of arugula pesto and then laid out thinly sliced radishes on top. It was a hit. Continuing with this theme and needing to use up the frozen arugula pesto - I thought lets do something with pasta. For dinner Monday night, I cut the radishes to a similar size as the penne and stir fried them with a little olive oil, made the pasta, and defrosted the pesto. Mixed these all together and served a salad on the side, dinner was simple and delightful.

A note about pesto: The Joy of Cooking in their recipe for traditional pesto mentions that the cheese and nuts should not be added if the pesto will be frozen. I’ve tried freezing pesto both ways – with and without cheese and nuts. It holds up so much better without the cheese and nuts. It seems like double the work to make the pesto and then at a later date roast the nuts, and then have to blend it all again with the cheese and nuts. It’s worth it. With basil pesto I find I can just use the frozen pesto in small amounts when a recipe calls for fresh basil, especially if I froze it in ice cube trays. It’s also worth it because freezing allows for you to have the flavors of CSA season all year.

Have a mentioned “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg? This is not a cookbook. It is an index of ingredients and what pairs well with them. It will be great to have during CSA season when I need to go with that vegetable I’ve never had before. I love this book!

Stir Fried Radishes??!!??
Here is the method in my very first post.

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