Pesto ~ Presto!
Today is the feast of Lammas, or Lughnasadh as the Celts call it. It’s a celebration of the grain/corn/wheat harvest and it’s traditional to make and eat bread. But for those of us who are celiac or even gluten-intolerant it’s a kind of a sad feast day. Sure there are gluten-free breads and pastas available, but tasty as they may be, they are no substitute for the real thing. Besides, what they lack in texture and mouth appeal, the more than make up for in added sugar. And by the way, please don’t suggest that gluten-intolerance is a fad or affection. If the presence of gluten in your diet gives you gastric distress and keeps you tethered to the nearest “rest-room”, you’re gluten intolerant. So, unless you really like munching ono a rice cake while everyone else is chowing down on homemade bread and pasta, you’re out of luck.
But I’m not one to let a good feast day go to waste, so here at Dayenu (as we formerly did at RavenOak) Will and I will be celebrating the harvest with the freshest, tastiest, gluten-free meal we can produce. Dinner tonight will feature and arugula salad, shrimp pesto served with polenta, and for dessert, blueberry crumble. All of which is gluten-free, added sugar-free and low carb. Did (I mention that my metabolism doesn’t like sugar either?) These recipes are amazingly simple and the pesto makes enough for tonight, PLUS two dozen 1/4 cup “cubes” to freeze for the winter when basil is not available. Yes, it’s a bit pricey to make up-front, but when you divide the cost by 25, it’s a real bargain…not mention that you’ll be able to enjoy the taste of midsummer all winter long.
Now for the recipes:
4 oz. pine nuts (toasted in a dry skillet till golden brown)
4 oz. walnuts
2 c FIRMLY packed fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. (heaping) minced garlic
2 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, chop the nuts till fine but not pulverized. Transfer to bowl.
Combine the garlic and the basil and process till finely chopped.
Add the nuts, cheese and olive oil to the basil and garlic and pulse until smooth.
Spoon into ice cube trays or small muffin cups and freeze. Transfer to freezer bags for long term storage. To use, simply thaw and heat, seasoning to taste.
1 quart fresh blueberries
1/4 c Splenda (divided)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 c almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 c oatmeal
Cinnamon, Cardamom and Nutmeg
Place the washed, drained berries in a baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the Splenda and with the spices to taste. Combine the butter, almond meal and oatmeal and mix with your fingers to make a crumbly topping. Spoon over the berries. Sprinkle on additional spices to taste. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned and the berries are bubbling. Cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.