Tag Archives: herbs

pesto

The Dish: Pesto

Take advantage of the last moments of spring with delicious homemade pesto. Use basil from your own garden for the best tasting pesto you’ve ever had!

Find this recipe and more summery delights on Scottsdale Living: The Dish on Pinterest.

If you want to save your pesto and use it throughout the summer and even in to fall and winter, try freezing it. Ice cube trays are perfect for portioning out pesto to use year round. Simply make your pesto up to the point where you add cheese. Leave the cheese out (it doesn’t freeze or defrost well) and portion it out in to ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can pop the pesto cubes out and place them all in a zip top bag to go in to the freezer.

*To use after freezing simply defrost however many cubes you’re using, toss in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir! You and your family will be enjoying fresh pesto year round!

Pesto

4 cups fresh basil, rinsed
3 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup max extra virgin olive oil
1 cup max Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Pack food-processor with basil. Pulse 3-4 times to break down leaves. Add garlic, lemon juice and zest, and pine nuts. Turn processor on and through the feed hole in top drizzle in olive oil until consistency is smooth. Pour in to bowl.

If freezing, at this point portion out pesto into ice cube trays using a tablespoon. Properly sealed pesto will be good up to 6 months in the freezer. Follow instructions above for what to do after freezing*

If using right away, stir in up to 1 cup of cheese, less if you’re freezing a portion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let flavors meld for about 15-20 minutes on the counter.

Toss with fresh pasta or spoon on the grilled meant and vegetables for a fabulous summer dinner. Try spreading some on a sandwich instead of mustard or over your salad instead of dressing.

Pesto-for-the-Freezer-The-Lemon-Bowl

Courtesy of: Adventures in Cooking

The Dish: Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

I have a small obsession with rhubarb. Whether it’s in a pie, tart or crumble I love it but that wasn’t always the case. For years I was leery of rhubarb for its similarities to celery, which I hate. I feared it would be stringy and flavorless; the bane of salads and soups alike. How wrong I was.

Rhubarb is intensely sour and when cooked breaks down in to the most luscious, soft texture. I love its tangy flavor that make you pucker. It livens up a dessert and cuts through cloying sweetness. Strawberries are the perfect companion to rhubarb for their mild sweetness without adding a ton of extra sugar.

Dessert isn’t the only place you can find rhubarb. I’ve seen recipes that use it as a substitute for lemons in savory dishes, even salsas and relishes. I’ve even seen it used in lemonade to add a pretty pink hue to the refreshing drink.

Give this herbaceous recipe a try instead of the usual strawberry rhubarb pie this spring. You won’t regret it.

If you’re not a fan or can’t find tarragon, try a bit of rosemary or mint instead. The herbs add an elegant aroma to this twist on the French classic.

As always, you can find the original to this recipe and more on my Scottsdale Living Pinterest page.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

Crust

2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1 cup butter, cold and hard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
5-8 tablespoons water, cold

Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
12 large strawberries, halved with caps removed
1 and 1/3 generous cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces (frozen works as well)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Grate the butter on the largest hole setting of your grater over the bowl, mixing to coat the butter shards in the flour mixture every 10 seconds or so. Add the cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough. If it stays in a clump when you squeeze it in your hand, it has enough water, if it falls apart, add more water until it stays together. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the filling, heat the sugar, butter, and water in a roughly 8-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is bubbling. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from the stovetop and stir in 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Place the crust over the skillet, quickly tucking it down into the pan around the edges of the filling. Cut three 1-inch slits in the top to allow heat to escape before placing it in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes of until the top of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to flip the pan over onto the serving plate. Once flipped, gently remove the pan to display the filling inside. Sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and allow the tart tartin to continue to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Cultivator (4)

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown 1st to use Urban Cultivator

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel recently installed Arizona’s first commercial-use Urban Cultivator™ to grow, sprout and harvest a wide selection of fresh and aromatic micro greens and herbs. Now guests of the hotel and its restaurant, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, can experience a wide array of delicious and hard-to-find greens all year round.

The decision to install a six-and-a-half-foot tall commercial-use Urban Cultivator was not just to provide hotel and restaurant guests with the freshest ingredients, but also to align with the company’s sustainable commitment to consume less and care more for the planet. The Urban Cultivator is a fully-automated indoor growing appliance that resembles a refrigerator with double glass doors and a series of growing shelves, lighting and water spouts. It is climate controlled and uses a method similar to hydroponic growing to grow herbs and micro greens. By growing right on property, the hotel is conserving time, water and energy, thus minimizing waste and emissions.

“With much success from our rooftop herb garden that currently yields everything from organic French lavender to thyme to chocolate mint and much more, we decided to install a commercial-use Urban Cultivator to supplement what the garden might not be able to produce,” said General Manager Mike Ehmann, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. “This environmentally conscious effort is much more than simply growing and serving the freshest ingredients. As the largest hotel in Arizona with 1,000 guestrooms and a vast amount of meeting space, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel caterers to thousands of guests – it is important that we provide the best quality while reducing food and energy costs.”

The culinary team at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and District American Kitchen and Wine Bar take pride and ownership in growing and harvesting the freshest herbs and micro greens. Some of the many greens the team grows include: arugula, basil, dill, endive, lettuces, radishes, and a plethora of others. The herbs and micro greens are added to a variety of dishes, used in catered functions and infused in many mixed beverages.

To learn more about Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, visit www.sheratonphoenixdowntown.com.