I was given a challenge for a friend’s birthday: bring a vegetarian dish that was filling and not pasta. I had goat cheese and squash at home and so I decided quesadillas it shall be! I also noticed some tomatoes in the refrigerator while I was there looking for that squash. And then I saw the onions and some balsamic vinegar in the pantry and voila! These quesadillas (kay-sa-di-ya) are creamy and have a subtle balsamic taste from the onions and crunchiness from the squash. The melting feeling when you bite in is just divine! I’ll admit that this is one of my new favorite dishes because I can indulge while still feeling kind of healthy about it(whole wheat+veggies-that’s healthy right?)
This pesto is a fresh take on the Italian classic. A beautiful, bright green, this pesto is zesty, fierce, peppery and not for the faint of heart. While keeping the tradition of the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic, I decided to add some more bitter and bold arugula to give it some pop.
The key to excellent pesto is excellent ingredients. As simple as that. So when you’re out shopping for ingredients try to look for good quality extra-virgin olive oil, artisan cheese and most of all, fresh greens. The freshness is what gives the light, earthy taste with all the vibrant green color. I would recommend this sauce on a dish paired with something a little sweeter to balance out the bitterness of the arugula. May I suggest some pasta with this palate-teasing pesto and some sweet, ripe tomatoes to counterbalance. Plus green pesto with bright, red tomatoes look absolutely beautiful!