Hi there! Just wanted y'all to know that I've made it safely to Singapore after a looooong flight. Funny that I really thought I was ready for this. After all, I've taken at least 4 round trips to mainland China before, which is also across the world. But I've just relearned that no matter how many times you have to sit in a cramped seat for 15+ hours, you never quite adapt to it. 8) But all whining aside, I had a great first day. Already stuffed myself with laksa and other yummies, and can't wait to report back all about it in a few weeks!
In the meantime...boy are you in for a special treat today! I've invited over one of my absolute favorite food bloggers and just one of the funniest and also sweetest human beings I've been lucky to know: Joanne Bruno of Eats Well with Others. In fact I pinky-swear promise you that no matter what kind of bad day you may be having, a quick hop over to her blog will have you laughing out loud in no time. And while she's cheering you up, she's also putting some incredibly creative, flavorful, and often healthy dishes out to tempt you. Like this Spring Pesto Panzanella or this Person Saffron-Spiced Pasta with Split Peas. Oh and did I mention that Joanne just ROCKED the boards and got her M.D.?! Well that's it for my introduction for the girl that really needs none. Take it away, Joanne!
I have a tendency to get far too emotionally attached to my condiments.
And any other item that I always seem to have too much and yet not enough of.
...exactly one and a half tablespoons of creme fraiche.
How does that sit in your fridge for a week without you spooning it from the container and into your mouth in a fit of insatiable hunger? (I know you thought you were being quite virtuous about it...but really. Why resist the inevitable?)
(Now you understand what all this crying is about.)
Until all of a sudden the gods of the New York Times dining section take pity on you. "Pesto. Mix it into pesto," they say.
Not one to kick a gift horse in the mouth, you do exactly as they order, stirring it into some sauteed zucchini and white beans, and then serving it over polenta.
Go ahead. Breathe a sigh of relief. Dinner is deliciously served.
Zucchini and White Beans with Creme Fraiche Pesto [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from the New York Times Cookbook
1/2 cup basil
1 1/2 Tbsp pistachios
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp creme fraiche
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 1/2 lb. zucchini, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can white beans
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the basil, pistachios, garlic, a scant tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and puree, scraping down the sides once or twice with a spatula, until a coarse mixture develops. Add the creme fraiche and puree until the mixture is a smooth paste the color of a fresh pea. Add the parmesan and pulse until combined. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate.
2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the zucchini and stir to coat with oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and saute until the zucchini brightens and turns soft on the edges but is still fairly firm. Drain the white beans and add them to the pan. Add the pesto and stir to coat. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
3. Serve over polenta, with pasta, or stir into risotto.