Cold Penne Salad



This is the Cold Penne Salad from RFD's book (otherwise known in the restaurant as "Penne for Your Thoughts", I guess (says the book, so it must be so). It's phenomenal. While I was making it, I was really second guessing it. It seemed like such a loony mix of stuff. There's cooked onion, broccoli, green pepper, garlic... then chopped kalamata olives, re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes, penne, balsamic vinagrette-marinated grilled portabello and... pesto sauce (with miso!). Yet, because Ann Gentry has come up with things far more over the moon than I ever have, I followed the recipe to the letter and it payed off (whew!). It was fantastic! Oh, there's pine nuts too, which I'm convinced elevate a lot of salad, pasta and rice dishes to heights that they'd never otherwise achieve. It's also served room temp, which worked out great for my new job which doesn't have a fridge or micro (a vegan lunchtime challenge!) But, this works. It did take a long time to cook, though (a sauce, a marinade, grilling, cooking, etc)- but, as the RFD book has taught me, really amazing food usually takes time.

Tyler and Phoebe's Perfect Pesto Sauce



The name don't lie. This is page 177 from La Dolce Vegan. I've made it plenty of times, and there was always something off about it. I toasted the pine nuts because the recipe says "toasted pine nuts". We have a basil plant that I harvest every so often for this recipe, and then I'd make it and we'd be like, eh- not so good. S'alright- but not good. The pine nut taste was way too pungent.

File that under "taking things far too literally". The f-ing pine nuts say "toasted" on the bag. So, this time, I just used the 1/4 cup of them plain- untoasted, and abra cadabra shezam- perfect pesto. Duy.

So, yeah, don't toast your toasted pine nuts.