Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday Night Dinner, part II

For the main course, I made asparagus pesto over some veggie burgers. The pesto, first:

This recipe came from the New York Times, very timely, just as I was considering what to do with some overly aged asparagus in the refrigerator drawer. As usual, I modified it to fit what I had around, and it was drastically different from the original. It turned out a little damp at first, but reabsorbed the liquid as it cooled and behaved very well on the burgers.

Asparagus Pesto
Some asparagus, perhaps a bunch
2-3 tbl olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
Fresh ground pepper
"21 seasoning salute"
Few pinches salt, to taste.

1. Wash and cut the asparagus into small inch long pieces. Boil a pot of water and drop the pieces in, cooking until they are bright green, no longer. Drain and rinse in cool water, then add to the container of a food processor.

2. Add the lemon juice, pepper, 21 seasoning salute, if you have it, or other spices. The 21 seasoning salute is a Trader Joe's mix that's especially tasty on popcorn, but can easily be replaced with fresh garlic and whatever else strikes your fancy. I used it purely for the garlic, as I was otherwise fresh out. Salt, too, then blend.

3. That's it! Set aside for later use, reheat it in a saucepan or microwave if you need to. Serve on pretty much anything.

One of the most important parts of using any recipe is being able to make it do what you want, with what you have. If I ran out to the store every time I was missing an ingredient, I would never have time left to spend in the kitchen. So, it's best to substitute where possible, adjust to the amounts you have in stock, and not let yourself be too rigid in following directions.

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