Bring your garden into the kitchen

12:50 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Gardening season is finally here.  For some that means beautiful flowers.  For others, it's growing the perfect tomato.

Beth Dooley, author of "Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmer's Market Cookbook," is an expert at bringing the garden into the kitchen.  On KARE 11 Sunrise, Dooley looked beyond the tomato to herbs, which can bring wonderful flavors to you meals.

Growing your own fresh herbs saves money and gives cooks options beyond salt and pepper.

Dooley prepared three types of pesto which can be used in a variety of dishes from pasta to fish or just bruschetta.

Dooley is appearing at the Minneapolis Farmers Market from 10:30 a.m. to noon and at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Edina from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18th.

May 19th Dooley is at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Stillwater at 11:00 a.m. and at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Saint Paul from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On May 22nd you can catch her at Byerly's in St. Louis Park at noon.

Below are Dooley's pesto recipes:

Pesto, Presto Trio

Pesto is just a fancy Italian term for pounded sauce made with herbs and oil. It's fresh, it's fast and makes delicious use of too many back yard herbs. Think beyond basil and pound out fabulous pestos with parsley, mint, cilantro, all great tossed with pasta, on top of pizza or grilled meat and fish. Stir into mayonnaise for a swell sandwich or shake into a vinaigrette.

NOTE: While pounding these herbs by hand releases their aromatic oils along with pent up tension, a food-processor will speed the process and not compromise flavor. Just be careful not to over-process. It's nice to have a rough, rustic texture.


Traditional Basil Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

Makes this thick or thin to taste. It's great on sliced tomatoes, tossed with pasta, wonderful slathered on bruschetta.

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons toasted pine or walnuts

½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Put the herbs, garlic, nuts and about half of the oil in a food processor or blender and whir until you have a thick paste. Thin with the remaining oil to the desired consistency. Just before using, stir in the Parmesan by hand. To make this by hand, put he herbs, garlic and nuts into a mortar and pound into a paste adding oil until you have the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Just before using, stir in the Parmesan.


Parsley & Walnut Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

This is lovely on broiled chicken, fish, burgers and steak. Try it tossed with grilled mushrooms or swirl into chilled tomato soup.

2 cups parsley leaves

1 clove garlic crushed

Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon

¼ cup lightly toasted walnuts

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the herbs, garlic, lemon juice and zest and nuts along with half the oil into a food processor or blender. Blend into a thick paste and add additional oil to reach the consistency desired. To make this by hand, put the herbs and garlic into a mortar and then pound in the lemon zest and juice along with the nuts, then slowly pound in the oil until you reach the consistency desired. Note: his will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days covered with a thin layer of oil and plastic wrap. It also freezes beautifully.


Cilantro, Mint & Cashew Pesto

Makes about 1- 1/4 cup

This is terrific on grilled fish or tossed with buckwheat (soba) noodles.

1-cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4-cup fresh mint leaves

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup unsalted cashews, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste

1/4-cup vegetable oil, or more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the herbs, garlic, cashews and limejuice into a mortar and pound into a paste. Slowly add the oil, pounding as you go. Taste and adjust the seasoning. NOTE: Use this immediately, it doesn't keep more than one or two days.








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