[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]
For some reason, I seem to be a little lethargic this year when it comes to dispensing the holiday cheer. It’s not that I’m begrudge anyone else their cookie exchanges, or tree-ornament earrings, or constant Muzak carols, or Santa Claus shower curtains.* It’s just that I haven’t been able to muster the spirit of the season to partake in those things myself. Sniff!
True, the HH is one of those people who’d rather not make a fuss over the holidays (or, hmm, anything, come to think of it). So I am usually the instigator when it comes to setting up our little tree, decorating the house, wrapping and putting out presents, or planning a festive feast. This year, though, I’ve been dragging my feet.
Could it be that my loathing of winter has finally superceded my adoration of the holidays? Could it be that the HH and his laissez-faire attitude have finally exerted their influence on me? Could it be that the infernal interloper, the ACD–who showed up unexpectedly last winter and now refuses to leave until all my candida symptoms are eradicated–has put a damper on the season? (Well, even I have to admit that it’s a tad more difficult to cook up a traditional feast–complete with holiday sweet treats–on this diet. Which is why I’ve been working really hard on a slew of holiday and festive recipes–including ACD-friendly desserts–that I’ll be offering in an ebook in just a couple of days!).
Unlike last year, when I went a wee bit overboard creating all manner of gastronomic gifts, I just haven’t immersed myself in the spirit as of yet (I suppose being unable to imbibe any type of spirit this season may have something to do with it as well). It’s amazing how many homemade gifts are meant to be sweet, or baked, or desserts, isn’t it?
But then it occurred to me–what about all the other delicious foods: condiments, seasonings, dips, spreads, dry soup mixes–that could constitute gifts? And suddenly, the spirit of Christmas Present touched me once again. Whoo-hoo! Time to get to the kitchen!
I’ve decided to give a few homemade, foodie gifts this year, even if I can’t eat them all. Into the mix will go ACD-friendly recipes as well, but only if anyone could appreciate them. This pesto falls into the latter category.
A milder take on conventional (basil-and-pine-nut) pesto, this cilantro based version is extremely versatile and very tasty. I originally created the recipe because I wasn’t allowed many alternatives on the ACD and wanted to use Brazil nuts–one of the only nuts I could eat–in a novel manner. Now, I must admit, I like it at least as much as “regular” pesto, if not more. And the beauty of this recipe is that it’s incredibly quick and easy; just blend, scoop into a clean jar, label and wrap for a perfect hostess gift, treat for a co-worker, or stocking stuffer.
Slather the pesto on crackers for a quick snack, or toss with your favorite grain for an instant pilaf. As in the photo, below, you can also toss with still-warm potatoes, grape tomatoes and sliced green onions for a delicious winter potato salad. I also like this tossed with freshly steamed kale.
Don’t you feel like hopping right up and starting to make some foodie gifts right now? I’ll race you to the kitchen.
Now, that’s the spirit!
“Mum, it’s not true that Dad never makes a fuss over anything–he fusses over us all the time. Just try wagging your tail and kissing his hand when he comes home from work, and he’ll make a fuss over you, too.”
* Honestly, I wouldn’t have even known such things existed, except The Nurse actually owns one of these!
Brazil-Nut Cilantro Pesto
Use as you would any pesto, in pasta, soups, or as an appetizer on crackers.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (120 ml) halved Brazil Nuts
1 cup (240 ml) very loosely packed cilantro leaves, or use a combination of cilantro and parsley
2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, as you like
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch fine sea salt
In a small food processor, blend together the garlic and nuts until crumbly. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth but still grainy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 10 days. Makes about 1 cup (240 ml).
Last Year at this Time: Gastronomic Gifts III: Marzipan-Topped Shortbread Cookies
Two Years Ago: Pumpkinseed Shortbread Buttons (gluten-free)
© 2009 RickiHeller.com
Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to RickiHeller.com via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”