Carrot Tops & Parsley Pesto Pasta, is the fourth in a series of six recipes inspired by Vegetables From Down The Road.
The fresh carrot tops in my vegetable basket, inspired me to create a playful twist on the classic pesto made with basil. Another twist is that I mixed in cabbage with the pasta. The addition of the cabbage ups the nutritional value and lowers the carbohydrate content. It also tastes great.
- 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley
- 1 small bunch of carrot tops
- 1 small head of green cabbage
- 1 small red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic–1 clove for the pesto and 2 cloves for the pasta base
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan
- 3 small sweet bell peppers
- 3 twigs of thyme
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup of white wine (use the same wine that you will have with the pasta. This way the wine and pasta will pair perfectly.)
- 1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil for the pesto. A little bit extra to coat the pan for the pasta base.
- 2 cups of dried gemelli pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- Separate the parsley and carrot top leaves from their stems–set aside for the pesto
- Toast the pine nuts–set aside a handful for garnish. The rest will be used in the pesto.
- Chop the head of cabbage into strips that are about the same size as the pasta
- Chop the red onion, peppers and garlic
- Separate the thyme leaves from their woody stems
MAKING THE PESTO:
- Add the parsley, carrot tops, 1 clove of garlic, and extra virgin olive oil to a small food processor
- Blend till smooth
- Add the grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts
- Blend till smooth
- Taste the pesto. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
COOKING THE PASTA BASE:
- Coat a heavy duty stainless steel pan with extra virgin olive oil and place it on medium heat
- Add the red onion, peppers, 2 cloves of garlic, thyme and oregano
- Saute till lightly brown.
- Make a hot spot in the center of the pan by moving the sauteed vegetables aside
- Add the tomato sauce, let it cook down for 2 minutes
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine
- Add the cabbage and saute till it is ‘al dente’ (firm to the bite)
- While you are cooking the cabbage base, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. The pasta should also be cooked ‘al dente’.
- Add the pasta to the cabbage and toss.
Since the cabbage is about the same size and shape as the pasta it doesn’t even get noticed. Next add the pesto to the pasta and toss.
Plate the pasta onto a beautiful platter and garnish with toasted pine nuts and extra grated Parmesan.
Serve with a glass of the same wine that was used during cooking. You will be surprised at how good the cabbage in the pasta tastes. It adds an unexpected twist of flavor and texture.
I hope you like this dish. Next Saturday, I will be posting the fifth in a series of six recipes inspired by Vegetables From Down The Road.
I am having a lot of fun creating these recipes. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Bye for now 🖐
This Grilled Rabbit “Stew” is my husband’s creation. I am a pescatarian, but my husband is an omnivore. We both eat a lot of vegetables and now follow a Ketogenic Lifestyle. My mom was a vegetarian and raised me that way. However, my dad does eat meat and I learned how to cook meat for him. I myself was a vegetarian until about 20 years ago when I started eating fish. Most of my recipes tend to be vegan, vegetarian or seafood. These days my husband cooks meat for himself and I cook the other dishes. If grilling is involved, I may do the marinade, but the grill is my husband’s territory. He made this dish and I have decided to let him write up his recipe.
- 1 red onion halved and sliced
- 2 medium sized tomatoes cut into 8ths
- 2 medium sized green peppers cut into 6ths
- 1 jalapeno sliced including seeds, leave the seeds out if you don’t want it spicy
- 1 zucchini cut lengthwise and sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 Shiner beer, I used a mango kolsch, I drank the rest.
- 1 rabbit cleaned and cut into 8 pieces
Someone gave me the rabbit, if you don’t have rabbit you can use chicken, skinned.
- place a sheet of tin foil in an aluminum roasting pan
- drizzle olive oil on the sheet of tin foil
- lay the veggies on the sheet
- drizzle more oil and add salt and pepper
- add the rabbit and add more oil and salt and pepper
- put your grill on medium heat and start the cooking with grill lid open
- when it starts sizzling add the beer
- close the grill lid and cook for about 40 minutes
- turn up the heat to high to finish the dish and add color to the rabbit. Cook on high for about 10 minutes.
When the rabbit is browned and cooked through it is ready to eat.
You will find a delicious golden gravy under the veggies to pour over the dish when it is served.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY to everyone!!!
My husband and I are just about to go to a neighborhood pool party to celebrate with our friends. I came up with this easy red, white and blue appetizer for the party pot luck.
- 48 ounces of grape tomatoes
- 24 ounces of basil and cheese ravioli
- blue toothpicks
- olive oil to coat and toast ravioli
PREPPING THE RAVIOLI
- Bring 4 quarts of water to boil
- Add a table spoon of salt
- Add the ravioli and boil till they float to the top and puff up. This takes about 4 minutes.
- Drain cooked ravioli into a glass baking dish that has been oiled with olive oil. This prevents the ravioli from sticking to each other.
- Coat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and place on medium high heat.
- Place the cooked ravioli in a single layer and toast on both sides.
- Do this in batches and keep adding the toasted ravioli to a glass baking dish.
Follow the instructions from my Blistered Tomatoes post to prepare the tomatoes.
Assembling the skewers is very simple. Gently pierce the center of the ravioli and push it to where the blue decoration starts. Then pierce the stem end of the blistered tomato placing it on top of the ravioli. Arrange on a platter to resemble an American Flag.
Let me know what you think in the comment section. We are off to the party now. Hope you are all having a good time with your friends and family. !!!
Curried Baby Turnips, is the first in a series of six recipes inspired by Vegetables From Down The Road. The baby turnips from our neighboring farm were so fresh that I decided to use them tops and all. This is a classic Indian dish which is usually made with cilantro. Here I substituted the tender, fresh turnip tops for the cilantro.
- 2 bunches of baby turnips (each bunch had 5 turnips)
- 3 peppers (use whatever variety you have on hand–here I used a Fresno, a sweet orange pepper and a fiery hot green scotch bonnet pepper.) Mixing up the type of peppers results in a more complex flavor.
- 2 inches of ginger root
- 2 inches of turmeric root (if you cannot find fresh turmeric, use 1/2 tsp. of powder instead)
- 8 ounces of frozen peas
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
- 1 tsp. chili flakes (optional if you want to make the dish more spicy)
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. garam masala (I make my own, but you can purchase it at an Indian grocery store or a spice market)
- 2 Tbsp. grape seed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Trim off the turnip bottoms and tops. Leave the skins on. Cut the turnips in half and then slice them into thin moon shapes.
- Roughly chop the turnip tops.
- Finely dice the chilies and ginger.
- Coat a large stainless steel skillet with grape seed oil and place on medium heat.
- Add the turnips, chilies and ginger.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle on the cumin, black mustard and nigella seeds. Add the optional chili flakes.
- Using a micro plane or mini grater, grate the fresh turmeric at this point. If you are using powdered turmeric, it will be added later in the recipe. If you add it now, it will burn.
- Saute the turnips until they are translucent and the added seeds begin to pop. You will be able to hear them popping.
- Turn the heat to medium-low.
- Add the tomato paste and smoked paprika. If you are using powdered turmeric, add it at this point. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped turnip tops and saute until they wilt. This should take 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the peas and sprinkle on the garam masala.
- Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Toss everything together.
- Turn off the heat and cover with the lid.
Leave the turnips on the stove without removing the lid for about 10-20 minutes or until you are ready to serve. This process is called “DUM” in Hindi. It allows all the flavors to marry and become one harmonious flavor. This is a very important step in traditional Indian cooking.
As a side note. At the end of February 2019, I found out that I have high blood sugar. For the past 4 months, I have been following a ketogenic lifestyle along with intermittent fasting. I have been successful in controlling my blood sugar and I also lost 30 pounds. I will write more about this in a separate post. This recipe just happens to fit a keto lifestyle. Turnips are a great substitute for potatoes on a keto program. Try this recipe because it is delicious. Let me know how it turns out in the comment section.
Inspired by the Polar Vortex, a recipe to warm your bones and your soul.
I call this recipe “Oatmeal Your Way” because it is very easy to customize to your liking. Once you make oatmeal from scratch you will never want to open an instant oatmeal packet again. This is the way my mom and Nani (my mom’s mom) made oatmeal. It is as easy to make as it is nutritious and delicious.
I made it for my godchildren, Sachi and her sister, Michi when they were about 4 and 5 years old. Sachi sent me the following letter asking me to make it again.
It is a very popular dish with children. It is also served to new mother’s and people who are ailing because it is nutritious and easy to digest. Sachi came to visit me a few years ago with her daughter, Aleia and I made the oatmeal for the cute little one. Here is a photo of Sachi, all grown up now, feeding oatmeal to her daughter, Aleia. Made me feel warm all over to pass on my memory of my mom feeding me oatmeal when I was little.
As I said, it is very popular with children. I modified the recipe for Aleia because she cannot have lactose. I used almond milk instead of regular milk. I also ground the almonds in a spice grinder so that Aleia could easily eat the oatmeal.
- 1 Tbsp. almond oil (customize by using butter or any flavor oil you like. For example, if I am making pecan flavor I use pecan oil. The options are endless–walnut oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, etc…)
- 1 cup of organic old fashioned oats (organic oatmeal actually has more of a nutty flavor besides being better for you. DO NOT USE INSTANT QUICK COOK OATS–they will turn out mushy.)
- 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds (customize by using whatever nut you are in the mood for.)
- 1/4 dried berries (here I used a combination of goji and cranberries. When Aleia was visiting, I used dried blueberries because she loves blueberries.)
- 1/4 tsp. of my Chai Masala (basically a combo of ground cardamom and fennel seeds)
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (customize by using your favorite spice. Depending on the flavor you want to create, use pumpkin spice, apple pie spice mix, etc…)
- 2 cups of milk (will make a porridge like consistency. You can use more milk if you want to make it thinner.) I used Fairlife Milk here. It is lactose free and high in protein. You can use any milk you like–almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc…
- 2 Tbsp. of Agave nectar (customize by using your favorite sweetener–maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, molasses, etc…)
- 1 medium sized organic apple diced into large chunks.
Again, you can customize the flavor by using your favorite fruit. You can also leave out the fruit. I use what seasonal fruit is available.
- Freshly ground nutmeg as a garnish for those who want it.
NOTE: by customizing and changing the ingredients, the flavor combinations are endless. One Christmas morning, I made a giant potful of banana walnut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. I used a whole can of oatmeal to make sure there was enough for everyone’s breakfast. It disappeared in 10 minutes. I had to make another batch!!!
- Coat a medium sized stainless steel saucepan with 2 Tbsp. of almond oil.
- Add 1 cup of oats and turn the flame to medium-low. Toast the oats while stirring occasionally. You will know the oats are done when you smell a nutty flavor and the oats turn slightly golden.
- Add the 1/2 cup of slivered almonds and continue to toast till the nuts turn slightly brown.
- Add the 1/4 cup of dried berries along with the spices. Stir and toast for another 30 seconds. The toasting will bloom the spices and you will smell them.
- Add the 2 cups of milk. You will hear a sizzling sound when you add the milk.
- Stir in the milk. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the milk starts to boil. Small bubbles will appear.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the diced apples and place the lid. Let sit for five minutes. This is enough time to warm the apples while still leaving them crunchy.
Remove the lid and serve.
Garnish with a grind of fresh nutmeg if desired. Enjoy as is, or with a cup of tea or coffee. Makes a great breakfast, brunch dish or dessert.
I had cauliflower and peppers on hand so I decided to create this dish. It is vegetarian and gluten free. It can be served as a side dish or a main dish.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 peppers
- 2 Serrano chilies (optional)
- 1/2 a bunch of parsley
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of marinara sauce. Use your favorite. I have used a homemade mushroom marinara sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional)
- 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (preferably grate your own)
- 6 ounce bag of shaved cheese (mix of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago)
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 4 Tbsp. of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Serve as a side dish with any protein you like. If you are eating meatless, serve a larger portion as a vegetarian main dish.
ENJOY!!! Let me know your feedback by leaving a comment.
This is a winter pumpkin dish my grandmother used to make. It was one of my favorites. She used to use a small deep orange pumpkin, I am using a Japanese pumpkin, called Kabocha squash, because that is what I have on hand. I also like Kabocha because it has a creamy, sweet flavor.
- 1 medium Kabocha squash
- 3 Tbsp of ghee ( if you want to keep it vegan use grape seed oil instead)
- salt and pepper to taste
Starting at the 6 O’ Clock position, and then going counter clockwise the spices are as follows:
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 20 pods of green cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- Chop the Kobocha into large pieces. Keep the skin on if the squash you are using has an edible skin. There are lots of nutrients and fiber in the skin.
- Using a spice grinder, grind the 20 cardamom pods into a fine powder. The cardamom powder is shown in the small bowl on the lower right.
- Toast the cumin seeds. Let them cool to room temp. and grind into a fine powder. The toasted cumin powder is shown in the small bowl on the lower left.
Traditionally, this dish is served with plain home made yogurt, lentil soup and rotis. You can buy the yogurt or make your own using My Mom’s Yogurt recipe. The lentil soup is called dal, I posted my Autumn Dal (split mung beans with kale) last year.
Today I served it with spicy pan-fried Black Drum that my hubby brought home 2 days ago.
Here is a photo of his catch and how I prepared it.
The Black Drum is the large fish on the far right. The 4 little fish are trout. My hubby fileted the fish and I coated the filets with my Indian Spice Mix.
I then pan fried the filets and then de-glazed the pan with our local Texas, Messina Hof Gewurztraminer. I made a pan sauce by adding a pat of butter. Gewurztraminer pairs well with spicy Indian food.
RECIPE TIP: Use the wine you are going to drink to make the pan sauce. This way the dish will match your wine.
I am so lucky to have a hubby who catches fish for me. I rarely get a Black Drum catch, so I was so glad to have it.
Hope you like this recipe. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.
I first got the idea to make this dish when I was with my dad at a farmer’s market in Chicago. I found these beautiful sunburst squash and I just had to use them. I told dad that I would make scallops and squash for our dinner. Dad told me that he doesn’t like scallops, but he was excited about the squash because it was so fresh and reminded him of an Indian squash called Tinda. Tinda is also called “Indian Baby Pumpkin.” I told him that I would season the scallops with Indian spices and cook them just right so that he would like them.
Dad was willing to try it, so here is the recipe. He loved it, by the way, and now has become a scallops fan.
- a dozen large scallops
- 6 small squash (you can used any small squash that is just a bit bigger than the scallops in diameter.) Here I have used patty pan squash.
- 3 Tbsp Indian Spice Mix. The Ingredients for the spice mix are shown in the small bowls. For full list of ingredients and how to make the spice mix click on the link provided.
- Grape seed oil to drizzle over the scallops and squash.
- 2 pats of butter for cooking the scallops.
- Freshly ground pink Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste. My dad likes a lot of black pepper.
- Pat dry the scallops. If there is a little piece of adductor muscle attachment on the scallop remove it. It is called the foot of the scallop. It peels off easily. It is the tough tendon that attaches the scallop to its shell. Please remove it because it is not edible.
- Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp of Indian Spice Mix. Drizzle on enough grape seed oil to coat. Toss gently until well coated. Do not add salt until right before cooking. Place in the fridge, uncovered, while you prep the squash.
- Cut the ends off of each squash. Then cut in half. You should have pieces of squash that are one inch thick. Again sprinkle on the Indian Spice Mix. Also add salt and pepper and coat with grape seed oil. Let sit for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Start the squash first. Coat a large skillet with a Tbsp of grape seed oil. Place on medium-high heat. When oil is hot place the squash slices in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on first side and flip. While the second side is cooking, start the scallops. The second side should cook for 3 minutes. At the end of 3 minutes turn off the heat.
- Place two pats of butter in a non-stick skillet. Place on medium-high heat. While the butter comes up to a foam, season the scallops with salt and pepper. When you see the butter foaming, placed the scallops in the skillet. It will take two to three minutes to develop a dark crust. Once the crust has formed, flip the scallops over and take them off the heat. Wait 2 minutes for the carry over heat to cook the scallops through.
Above is a photo of my plating when I enjoyed this dish with my dad. He likes red wine, so we served this with a Shiraz. Shiraz is the original wine grape from the Middle East. It goes very well with any spicy food. In my opinion, it goes very well with Indian food.
When I recreated this dish at home, I came up with fancier plating.
I served it as a first course for a dinner party. Each piece of squash is topped with a scallop and then garnished with a dot of home made mint chutney and a mint leaf. I will post the recipe for the mint chutney in the future.
NOTE: On May 23, 2020 – I posted Carrot Tops & Coriander Chutney. This is the same recipe as the mint chutney, but carrot tops have been substituted for mint.
Hope you like it. My dad loved it 😊💕
Please write your thoughts in the comments section. I always appreciate your support and feedback. 😃