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‘pesto’

Non-Traditional Farro Risotto

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I can be a bit of a traditionalist. Take risotto. It’s hard for me to imagine an alternative to the traditional Arborio rice I’ve always used. After all, risotto is one of those nearly perfect dishes that is so much better than its simple ingredient list leads you to believe. Yet, risotto manages to amaze…

New Year Black-Eyed Peas with New to Me Guajillo Chiles

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According to legendary Southern gossip, black-eyed peas are associated with a “mystical and mythical power to bring good luck.” Which is how they’ve found their way into many folks’ New Year’s Day supper menu. I’m not superstitious. In fact, I doubt this little recipe of mine for Black-Eyed Peas in Guajillo Sauce with Cilantro Pesto will…

Charred Yellow Wax Beans with Fistfuls of Basil

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This is a summertime recipe. At least in Los Angeles. That’s because I never see yellow wax beans at the Hollywood Farmers Market until the dog days descend. I also consider this recipe a warm weather friend because it features summertime basil. And I do mean “features”. Most of the year I mince basil for…

Old School Caesar Salad with No Shortcuts

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When it comes to kitchen routines I’m all for easy (once in a while). There are some perfectly acceptable shortcuts that I’m happy to take – as long as the compromises in quality are kept to a minimum. When I make a tri-tip roast in the oven I don’t always sear the outside first. That’s…

Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino

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Name for me something that is under-appreciated, relatively unknown, offers amazing quality . . . and comes in a bottle. You were going to say something about your singing when you’re belting out show tunes in the car, until you read that last bit, right? But I said “bottle,” so clearly I’m talking about the…

The Sardinian Cookbook

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I was recently sent a copy of The Sardinian Cookbook. I was struck by the author’s humble version of lasagna made with canned tuna and fresh pesto right off the bat. I’m a huge fan of oil-packed, Italian tuna fish. I’ll often spend 2 to 3 times the price of regular tuna to get a…

Old School Italian Arancini for @TheTableSet

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Pea and Pistachio Old School Arancini with Tarragon Pesto. There are a lot of great things to learn about Italian cooking and culture packed inside these little rice balls. I’m calling them old school Italian arancini, though that’s not strictly true. I made them as my contribution to a dinner party The Table Set threw…