It Must Be May Somewhere

I actually said that at dinner. I meant “spring,” but for all I know, it really is May in California, and Chicago is stuck in a sick joke of a time warp. How else do I have “fresh” arugula, basil, and strawberries for my dinner? While I tap my foot impatiently until the farmer’s market opens downtown–7 am, May 14th, 2009–I thank California and the time machines that the produce presumably arrives in. They run on solar, right?

Tonight, the meal was spring themed. I got the idea from the Cooking Light magazine that my MIL keeps me subscribed to every year. There was a whole section about seasonal and local foods. It was somewhat of a tease, but I was inspired. I made linguine with Arugula Pesto and Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup with whipped cream.

Cast of Characters for Arugula Pesto Linguine. Garlic always secures a supporting role.

Cast of Characters for Arugula Pesto Linguine. Garlic always secures a supporting role.

"Bah! Did you put that Basil leaf on there for the photo?" Nope. I love basil. It cleases the palate. Kind of minty if you eat a big leaf of it after dinner. Garlic doesn't know how to handle it.

"Bah! Did you put that Basil leaf on there for the photo?" Nope. I love basil. It cleanses the palate. Kind of minty if you eat a big leaf of it after dinner. Garlic doesn't know how to handle it.

Linguine With Arugula Pesto

  • 12 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in a serving bowl.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon pine nuts and garlic in a food processor; process until minced. Add arugula and basil and all over ingredient except the cheese and pasta.
  3. Add pesto mixture and reserved cooking liquid to serving bowl; toss well to coat. Serve with cheese.

Source: Cooking Light, April 2009, Page 107

The only things I changed were the addition of a sauteed chicken breast, more basil was added, and only 8 ounces of pasta were used. The result was like eating fresh spring grass with a side of robin and babbling brook. But delicious.

I can’t put into words how happy this dessert made me:

I don't want to type this.

I don't want to type this.

dessert_four_updessert

I almost uploaded the plated dessert twice. It was that good. But here is a zoom for emphasis on the goodness.

I almost uploaded the plated dessert twice. It was that good. But here is a zoom for emphasis on the goodness.

It is such a simple dessert with whole ingredients. Clearly, I added some blackberries into the recipe. Sometimes the simple combinations have surprisingly complex flavor. Your kitchen will smell like a strawberry stand at the farm. Grind the lemon rinds and berry tops in the garbage disposal for increased smell-good action. Then please comment after you eat it, because I still want to talk about how good it is. Bonus points if you eat it outside on a deck.

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3 responses to “It Must Be May Somewhere

  1. Basil is not only a great anti-oxidant and palette cleanser, it is also a wonderful provider of depth of field.

  2. Depth of field is key to any well balanced meal.

  3. Can I tell you how vastly overqualified you are for your day job?

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