Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stacy Alexander's Spring Garden Puree

This Spring Garden Puree is a nice twist on pesto. It can be added to pizza as a base ingredient or used in any kind of pasta dish for a fresh, bright spring garden flavor:

Here is what you'll need:

  • 1 lb organic asparagus, ends discarded, and chopped into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 lb organic green beans, halved, ends removed and discarded
  • 1 cup frozen English peas (the smaller the better)
  • 1 cup slivered pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves(or more)
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley
  • 4 scallions, green parts only, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 juice of 1/2 large lemon + 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • Here's how to make it!

    1. Have ready a large bowl of ice water.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    3. Add the asparagus and green beans; boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the frozen peas and boil for 2-3 more minutes.
    4. Drain vegetables and submerge in the ice water to stop the cooking.
    5. Pulse the nuts to a fine powder in coffee grinder or blender
    6. Add the vegetables, garlic, parsley, scallions, olive oil, lemon juice, and nutmeg; puree until smooth, adding small amounts of water as needed to thin.
    7. In a large bowl, mash the tofu with a potato masher or hand held immersion blender until it has a ricotta cheese-like consistency.
    8. Add the puree and mix well.
    9. Fold in the basil.
    10. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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