Category Archives: Main Course

Eat Your Greens

escarole

At the library recently I exchanged small talk with a woman whose baby had just turned 4 weeks old. It was the first time she had left the house without him and she had that wide-eyed but exhausted expression that’s unique to new moms. “Does it get easier?” she whispered. “This has been the longest month of my life.”

I knew exactly what she was going through. When my first baby was born, it felt like years until we reached the six week mark. Now, that baby is already 4 and my new baby, the one who I swear was born last week, is already 5 months old. Life is moving forward at an alarming speed these days. I keep having flash-forwards to when my girls are both in college or older and I’m in my sixties and what scares me, is that it doesn’t seem all that far away. I understand now how days fold into years that fold into decades and you suddenly find yourself looking back instead of forward.

Snapshots appear in my head, photos of me and Sorin and the girls, photos that the girls will look at one day and say, “Can you believe how young mom and dad are?” They will see me as I am now, youngish and blonde and thin and with some wrinkles but not too many yet. And they will see how handsome Sorin is and how happy we are holding these two little girls, one blonde (with brown eyes), one brunette (with blue eyes).

And this makes me smile. Because they won’t ever really know or remember how exhausted we are on most days because every night at our house feels like taking a red eye flight. We don’t really wake up in the morning, because we’ve never really slept. I knew this time around what I was getting into with the whole first year of sleeplessness; it’s easier to take because it’s less of a shock. And for a baby her age, I think J is sleeping pretty well. But there’s always something, isn’t there? And the kicker this time is having two young children in a very small house where a cry from one easily wakes up the other. It can get a little bananas over here between the hours of 11:30pm and 6am.

We’re in triage mode. We simply don’t have enough energy during the day to attend to anything but the essentials. It’s excruciating, but it also makes the little things in life seem unbelievably great. Like a good cup of coffee in the morning. Oh, my god, how I love that first cup of coffee. I go to bed thinking about it. Or, slipping out for a quick walk or jog alone? It feels as restorative as a tw0 week vacation use to. And yesterday, I allowed myself a few minutes before jumping in the shower to take some old nail polish off my toenails and it felt like a spa treatment.

Needless to say, I haven’t been whipping up too many blog-worthy meals over here. Our meals are fine, some of them even quite good, but inspiring they are not. Until the other day, when I found myself standing in the kitchen peeling hot escarole leaves off a pan just out of the oven and popping them into my mouth. Then Sorin walked in and started doing the same thing. And we ate the whole pan just like that, savoring the bitter, salty flavor.

If you don’t like the bitter, bracing flavor of greens, this recipe isn’t for you. But if you’re into it, then you’ll find yourself craving wilted escarole just like me, needing another hit of olive oil and garlic dripping from leaves that are perfectly crunchy around the edges and soft and slightlty chewy in the middle. Doused in olive oil and garlic and topped with (optional) shavings of parmesan cheese, it’s about as good as winter greens can get.

The recipe is simple: Tear escarole leaves into small pieces, generously coat with olive oil and garlic, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and roast in a 450 F oven for about 7 minutes. A more detailed version of the recipe is over at cheese.about.com.

escarole

This escarole would be lovely at a dinner party, especially in February in LA, when you can eat outside with lights strung overhead and the faint smell of orange blossoms in the air. But it’s also okay to eat the escarole standing in your kitchen like we do, then have a main course of popcorn and wine while watching The Wire.

 

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Labor Day

farmersmarket

The strategic placement of Swiss chard wasn’t intentional, and miraculously it was large enough to cover what has bloomed into a hilariously large baby bump. How do our bodies do it? Even the second time around I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that a tiny human has developed in there over the last 9 months and any day now (please, please, let that day come soon) will emerge.

I am quite literally bursting at the seams. My maternity clothes barely fit. There is no position that is comfortable. It has been miserably hot all week. I’m cranky and tired and also really happy. A baby is coming! It’s such a strange time, waiting for a baby.

Needless to say, I have not been cooking much. A few easy dishes, like this stove-top lasagna and skillet pizza. I’ve thought about making quinoa enchiladas, but can’t quite find the energy. My mom is in the kitchen right now making spaghetti and meatballs, which is exactly the kind of carb loading I should be doing with labor imminent, right?

As anxious as I am for this baby to come and as eager as I am not be 9 months pregnant anymore in 100 degree heat, I don’t believe in rushing a baby out before she’s ready . They’ll be no chugging of castor oil or acupuncture or doing squats all day going on over here. The last time around, I mostly just listened to this for inspiration.  Waiting is indeed the hardest part.

 

 

 

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Ponzu!

Grilled Swiss chard, cucumber, avocado, brown rice and ponzu sauce

Grilled Swiss chard, cucumber, avocado, brown rice and ponzu sauce

My favorite thing about this summer is swimming. Partly because my pregnant body floats as if weightless but mostly because I’ve realized that swimming is the best way to zap the seemingly endless supply of energy that kids have. In all those books about sleep issues and sleep training why doesn’t a single one include a chapter called Take Your Kid Swimming. An hour or two in the pool in the afternoon and I tell you what, that kid is going to zonk out.

As much as we all adore our children and love the time we spend with them, am I right when I say that the moment you know they’re finally asleep for the night is a moment of absolute happiness? I can’t really think of anything pre-children that brought on that exact same type of relief.

The other night after I had peeked in on O and covered her with a light summer blanket and gently closed her door, I collapsed my pregnant self onto the couch and tried watching Frances Ha, a movie I’ve been wanting to see since it came out a year or so ago. I lasted about 20 minutes before I just had to turn it off. Maybe it’s because I’m nearing 40 and can no longer relate to today’s generation of young women or maybe it’s because I’ll soon be raising two girls and I’m horrified by the thought of them acting like Frances or like any of the characters on the very similar TV show Girls, but I’m finding any story line that has to do with young women hanging out in a place like Brooklyn to be completely unwatchable.

The way these “adult” characters act and the way my 3 year old acts on occasion are just way too similar. As O says so often lately with great frustration, “why can’t you just give me what I want?!” The girls in these shows seem to constantly be saying the same thing. “Why can’t I just work in a cool coffee shop a few days a week and spend the rest of the time hanging out and thinking about creative things and still afford an apartment in Brooklyn and have an amazing boyfriend even though I’m a complete drip?”

Yes, I used the word drip. Which really makes me seem like an old fogy. But that’s what these girls are: dull, unattractive, boring people who seem to think the world owes them an amazing experience. Just because.

Please, let my daughters not grow up to be these girls.

Will it be possible to raise two girls and for the next 16 years or so completely shield them from the Hannah Horvaths and Miley Cyruses and Kim Kardashians of the world? Can I keep them in an Anne Shirley bubble?

There’s no easy segue from the dearth of female role models for young women to ponzu sauce, so let’s just get into it – if you need a bright, kicky sauce this summer, then ponzu is it. The flavor will make you blink a few times at first. But the salty, tart  sauce quickly turns addictive.

These are a few things I’ve drenched in ponzu lately for quick lunches and dinners:

  • Grilled salmon & salad greens
  • Cold angel hair pasta, snap peas and leftover salmon
  • Seaweed salad (Seasnax dehydrated salad mix), Trader Joe’s quick-cooking farro, cucumber, lots of avocado
  • Grated cabbage and carrot slaw and halibut
  • Brown rice bowl with salmon, cucumber, avocado and grilled Swiss chard

Grilled Swiss chard is sort of my thing this summer. That, and grilled broccoli. Both have been such a revelation. Why has it taken me this long to throw them on the grill? Coat in olive oil and salt, throw right on the grill for about 12 minutes, or a bit less for the Swiss chard, and you have the perfect summer side.

As for the ponzu, everyone makes their homemade ponzu a little differently. It’s basically soy sauce mixed with citrus and sweetened just a little. Use lemon or lime,  add some unseasoned rice wine vinegar if you like, and sweeten with mirin, simple syrup or plain sugar. Here’s my quick blend to give you a starting point:

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons mirin

Ponzu is too tart and bold for little O, but with meals like this it’s easy for us to all make our own plate. Some fresh veggies, some grilled veggies, some fish and a grain. It’s the perfect summer meal.

 

 

 

 

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Kosheri Dumplings

Kosheri Dumplings

Over the years I’ve compiled a mental list of foods (pad thai, almond milk, yogurt) that for me, are simply not worth making at home. No matter how many other bloggers swear how easy they are to make and how amazing the homemade results are, in my kitchen it’s just not happening. Maybe the results are mediocre, maybe the time and effort just aren’t worth it to me, or maybe I just can’t deal with another soggy pouch of almond pulp in my kitchen.

And then, there are recipes that completely win me over. Goodbye, frozen Trader Joe’s potstickers with the weird aftertaste. Hello, homemade dumplings.

kosheri potstickers

Homemade dumplings/potstickers are a little bit time consuming, but for me, totally worth the effort. After one batch, I’m obsessed with all the new combinations I can make. Swiss chard and mushrooms! Carrot, ground pork and cilantro! Spinach and cheese!

Dumplings, I’ve found, are the perfect vegetable delivery vehicle for kids. But really, who doesn’t like a dumpling? Serve them at your next party as finger food, make a big batch for dinner and freeze half for later, pack homemade dumplings in lunches or as a snack to take to the park.

Kosheri Dumplings
Makes 48 or more dumplings

This recipe proves that just about anything goes when it comes to dumpling filling. If you like pierogies, then you’ll love this starchy dumpling stuffed with an Egyptian inspired blend of rice, lentils, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little bit of Swiss chard.

Kosheri dumpling with sour cream

Kosheri dumpling with sour cream

Ingredients

3/4 cup green lentils
3/4 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves finely chopped and stems discarded (or saved for another meal)
1 package circular or square-shaped dumpling, wonton, or gyoza wrappers. Any size is fine but slightly larger ones (4.5-inch) are easier to fold
Sunflower oil for frying

Rinse the lentils and rice separately.

Place the lentils in pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Just before the butter starts to brown, add the rice, 1 1/2 cups water, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and place a thin towel over the pan. Put the lid back on over the towel and let the pan sit for 5 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork.

While the lentils and rice are cooking, saute the Swiss chard in a drizzle of oil until the leaves are fully wilted but still bright green, 5 minutes. Lightly salt.

Combine the lentils, rice and Swiss chard. Add salt to taste.

Lightly flour a work surface (I use sweet rice flour, but regular flour would work fine). Set out your dumpling wrappers, a small bowl of water and a large sheet pan dusted with flour or covered with parchment paper.

Grab a dumpling wrapper, dip your finger in the bowl of water and wet the perimeter. Place a small teaspoon of filling in the middle. Fold the wrapper over and pinch it shut along the edges. Fold in the two corners (if using a square wrapper) and pinch them shut. If any part of the wrapper doesn’t stay shut, brush it with a little water and pinch it shut again. After a while, you’ll find your rhythm.

folding_potstickers

Folding Potstickers

At this point you can freeze the dumplings or cook them. (Freeze on the sheet pan then transfer to a freezer bag. Later, cook them by placing the frozen dumplings directly into a hot pan with oil, like below)

Heat a thin layer of sunflower oil over medium-high heat in a wide nonstick pan with a lid. When the oil is hot, cook a batch of dumplings for about 2 minutes until the bottom is brown and crispy.

Pour 1/4 cup water in the pan and quickly put on the lid. Turn the heat to medium-low and steam the dumplings for 3 to 5 minutes until most of the water is gone and the wrappers look translucent. Remove the lid, return the heat to medium-high and saute for a minute or two, shaking the pan a bit as the dumplings crisp up.

Serve kosheri dumplings hot or at room temperature with sour cream.

More Potsticker Recipes
Yellow Split Pea Potstickers
Pork and Shrimp Potstickers
Shiitake Mushroom and Tofu Potstickers

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Post Super Bowl Detox Casserole

Wild Rice and Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole

Wild Rice and Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole

I’ve been craving casserole lately. Both the comforting flavor and the guarantee of leftovers. But what I really wanted was a casserole that didn’t contain cheese or a can of cream of anything. Especially after the onslaught of Super Bowl recipes involving cheese layered with cheese layered with cheese. There is still a full bowl of artichoke dip sitting in my fridge with one small corner eaten, where Sorin and I each took a small dip. I need to throw it out, but I don’t even want to look at it.

Artichoke dip is not good. I know this is an Un-American sentiment, but next time you dip your chip into a thick bowl of it take careful note of the flavor. You might notice there isn’t actually any flavor. Only a texture that lies somewhere between glue and melted cheese, a texture that can only be achieved by melting together an obscene amount of dairy products (and possibly mayonnaise) that have no right being together in one bowl.

As I was searching for casserole recipes that didn’t involve copious amounts of cheese, I realized this was quite Un-American too. We love our melted cheese, don’t we? More often than not, I too fall into the pro-melted cheese demographic but this week, I just wasn’t in the mood.

So I read more casserole recipes than any person should over the course of an afternoon and we ended up with this really delicious, really comforting wild rice and whole wheat orzo casserole on our table. No cheese, no canned anything. Just veggies and whole grains. The creaminess comes from little chunks of eggplant, first fried lightly in olive oil then baked with carrot, red pepper and tomatoes.

eggplant_casserole

I was a little worried about the wild rice/whole wheat orzo combination tasting a little too hearty, but it’s perfect. Earthy, nutty, toothsome. How often do you get to use that word?

Did you know that wild rice is a marsh grass that grows in water? I had no idea. I guess I had never really sat down and thought about wild rice before.

O, I admit, was not overly fond of this casserole and instead has been chowing down on a big batch of chicken schnitzel her father made earlier in the week. But Sorin and I have happily made a dinner and several lunches out of it. If I had some peppery arugula in the house, I think it would make the perfect salad on the side.

In other exciting news around here, I tried to make one of those calming glitter bottles and this is what happened:

glitter_bottle

Understandably, O is not impressed. I swear I followed the instructions exactly but my glitter settles in about 6.2 seconds, instead of 3 minutes. It is neither calming nor relaxing nor fun to watch glitter drop the bottom of a plastic water bottle in 6 seconds.

Crafting for me is probably like cooking for some of you. I follow the instructions exactly and yet, things never turn out quite right. I’ve re-read the instructions a dozen times on a dozen different websites but there doesn’t seem to be much room for error. Somehow, though, I managed to make the only glitter bottle on the internet that doesn’t work. Now I’m all stressed out about this stupid calming glitter bottle and keep trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe I need to add more glitter glue? Suggestions welcome, all you crafting geniuses out there.

Wild Rice and Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole
This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella that she adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

2 smallish eggplant (weighing a combined total of around 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. You don’t want the pieces much bigger than this or they won’t cook all the way.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 teaspoons tomato paste
2 (medium) or 3 (small) tomatoes, chopped
1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice blend (I used Lundberg wild blend)
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
lemon zest grated from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Instructions

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the wild rice and simmer over medium, maintaining a gentle boil. Cook until just tender, but you don’t need to cook it as long as the package suggests since you’ll be baking it too. I simmered my wild rice blend about 30 minutes. Drain the rice to remove any remaining water.

At the same time, sprinkle your eggplant chunks generously with salt and let them sit in a colander for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, rinse well and pat the eggplant dry on a towel.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1/4 cup of olive oil. When you can smell the olive oil in the air and it starts to pop just a bit, add the eggplant. Don’t stir it for several minutes; you want to give the eggplant time to lightly brown. Fry the eggplant for a total of about 8 minutes, stirring only a few times. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan plus the carrots, bell pepper and onion. Again, saute for about 8 minutes until the veggies are lightly browned. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the tomato paste and stir it well into the veggies for a minute or two.  Then stir in the tomatoes, orzo, par-cooked rice, water, salt, lemon zest, oregano and eggplant.

Transfer to a casserole pan (I use an oval 3 quart dish). Cover with a lid or foil and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more.

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Lentil Chili

This one’s for all you housebound, half-frozen friends in subzero temperatures waiting for your world to thaw. What you need is a big pot of something delicious simmering on the stove, something that doesn’t take too much effort but will feed the family for a day or two.

lentil_chiliLike a big pot of lentil bean and veggie chili.

Confession: I forgot to put veggies in mine. Well, not entirely. I did saute come carrots and onion and add a can of whole tomatoes, but I meant to add bell peppers and zucchini, too. Once I had the chili simmering in the pot, I turned around and there they were, 2 bell peppers and a zucchini, just sitting on the counter starting at me. Oh, well. That’s what happens when you’re cooking with a 3 year old.

Second confession: I adapted this recipe from an Ina Garten recipe for stewed tomatoes and lentils via Smitten Kitchen, and I actually like her version a little better, using curry powder instead of chili seasonings. The curry version is especially good with sauteed greens (like Swiss chard) on the side. So make whichever version makes you hungry, this one for chili, or that one for simple stewed tomatoes with lentils. Either way, make sure to top it with a large dollop of whole fat Greek yogurt or sour cream.

For both versions, I use black lentils instead of green lentils. I like the way they hold their shape, giving the dish more texture. Plus, you can occupy a 3 year old for a solid five minutes by giving them the task of rinsing the black lentils in a big bowl of water. They’ll be mesmerized both by the feel and the color of the beans.

black lentils

black lentils

Although over here in LA the weather is far from frigid, I’ve been a little bit housebound anyway, focusing on spring cleaning. Since LA doesn’t have spring, January has always felt like a great time to shoo away all the dust bunnies, sort closets, scan a year’s worth of receipts I was supposed to be taking out of my wallet and scanning on a daily basis, and generally taking care of all those little tasks I’m sick of seeing on my to-do list. Like hemming the pants that I’ve worn too long for a year, or surreptitiously removing a few of the 7,000 stuffed animals that have taken over O’s room (she hasn’t missed any of them yet) or finally washing out and deflating the blow-up turtle pool in our backyard that has become a swimming hole for raccoons.

All of it is incredibly boring and tedious, but I really feel like I need to start with a clean slate this year. The cobwebs must be swept out before I can really get down to the business of being productive and creative and successful and all that. Or maybe I’m just procrastinating. But at least I’ll be a procrastinator with well-organized closets, and that’s something. Right?

Lentil Chili
Adapted from the delicious lentils with stewed tomatoes on Smitten Kitchen.

I had intended to also add a few chopped bell peppers and zucchini to this pot of chili, but forgot. I think they’d be quite good.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup black or green lentils
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions:

Break up and squish the canned tomatoes in a large bowl with your hands or give them a few whirls in a food processor. Rinse the lentils. Set both aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally. If using other veggies, like bell peppers or zucchini, add them now and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, spices and salt.

Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Black lentils, even when tender, will have a little bit of firmness to them. Turn off the heat and let the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, season with salt to taste.

Serve with a big dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

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Super Sneaky Spinach & Basil Pesto with Broccoli Breadcrumbs

Spinach Broccoli Pesto
I know I gripe a lot about the weather in LA this time of year but even I had to admit that last weekend was just about perfect.  We took a spur-0f-the moment Sunday drive to a destination we’d never been to before and it ended up being the perfect place, too.  Don’t you love it when that happens?

abalone cove

We had Abalone Cove mostly to ourselves. There was a very slight chill in the air, so we started out with sweaters but by the time we left a few hours later O was down to her underwear and Sorin had taken a swim in the ocean.

abalone2

The first thing O did was plunk down in the sand and start drawing designs, completely and totally happy. She moved on to chasing seagulls, then squealing as the waves chased her up the shore, followed by harassing hermit crabs and sea anemones in the tide pools. We ate lunch on a log. We walked barefoot.

abalone_beach

abalone4

abalone3

The summerish weather down here makes it feel like basil pesto is still a food that’s in season. Even if you’re buried in snow right now you can probably still find basil at the grocery store, so really, there’s no reason to limit pesto to summertime. I’m all for eating seasonally, but I’m even more in favor of eating as much pesto as possible.  Especially since O loves it and it’s the main way I get some dark greens into her diet. Spinach, mostly. I find that kale makes pesto smell a little funky.  Spinach, on the other hand, you hardly notice at all.

Spinach Pesto with Broccoli Breadcrumbs
Crunchy broccoli bread crumbs top this bowl of gorgeous green pasta. The original recipe comes from 101 Cookbooks but the inspiration for adding the green breadcrumbs to my pesto pasta was the  “anything plus broccoli” formula on Dinner, A Love Story.  Based on this formula, and the sneaky addition of spinach to the pesto, I declare this bowl of pasta totally, completely healthy. It’s a meal capable of erasing all guilt when it seems like the other main food groups in your child’s diet are goldfish crackers and those sugary dried fruit bars the evil people at Trader Joe’s display right by the register at child eye level.

Spinach & Basil Pesto with Broccoli Breadcrumbs

This makes about 1 cup of pesto, enough to generously cover 1/2 pound of pasta. In our house, this translates into 4 or 5 servings.

I use raw pumpkin seeds in pesto now because I think they taste good, I like the nutrients they add and I have a large, bottomless bag in my fridge that I’ve been trying to finish. You can use nuts instead or raw sunflower seeds or if you have allergies in your house, skip it completely.

Ingredients

1/2 pound pasta

Broccoli Breadcrumbs
1 slice whole wheat bread, stale or dried out in the oven (see below)
1 small head of broccoli (about the size of your palm), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pesto
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
A large handful raw baby spinach, plus more to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F

If your slice of bread isn’t already stale, put it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s just about hard enough to knock against the counter.

No, that wrinkly hand isn't my 90-year-old grandmother's, it's mine. What the ?!

No, that wrinkly hand isn’t my 90-year-old grandmother’s, it’s mine. What the ?!

Crumble the bread into a few pieces then blend it in a food processor with the broccoli, olive oil and salt until the texture is finely chopped, like bread crumbs. Don’t blend too long or the texture will move past crumbly into mushy. Spread the broccoli breadcrumbs out on a large baking sheet, in a thin layer so they will get crispy. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and crunchy.

My breadcrumbs got a bit too brown and crunchy but were still good

My breadcrumbs got a bit too brown and crunchy but were still good

Get your pot of water boiling to cook the pasta.

Wipe out the food processor and combine the pumpkin seeds and garlic. Blend until very finely chopped. Add the cheeses, basil and spinach. With the blade running, drizzle in the olive oil until just combined. Taste the pesto. I usually add more spinach at this point and keep blending and adding as much spinach as I can get away with, and still have the consistency and flavor I want.

Cook your pasta, drain, and toss with the pesto. Top each serving with broccoli breadcrumbs. This pasta can be served warm, but we tend to like it better cold. It’s great for school lunches.

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