Daily Archives: February 17, 2012

Asian Pesto for Stir Fries

I used a huge, fragrant bunch of cilantro this week for a pesto with an Asian flare, then tossed it into a stir fry. What I love about stir fries is that you can utilize whatever you have in your box, only a few extra items like onion or garlic need to be taken from the pantry. If you have this Asian pesto on hand, you can make a stir fry with just about any veggie. You could also mix it with ground meat and stuff it into a wonton skin to make a potsticker.

Asian Pesto

Makes 2 cups

6 garlic cloves

2-inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks

1 green onion, green and white section, chopped

1 cup roasted almonds

1 teaspoon chile flakes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 cups of green tender herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint, parsley or a combination of a few

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, green onion, almonds, chile flakes and lemon zest and juice. Pulse until it is chopped into fine pieces, then add the green herbs and oil. Process until a thick purée is formed. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a tightly covered jar and refrigerate.

To Make the Stir Fry

Toss one pound of cleaned shrimp, (or you could use cubed firm tofu or chicken) with a quarter cup of Asian pesto. Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces. Divide vegetables into bowls based on levels of firmness: onions, garlic, carrots or any other hard vegetable into one bowl; celery, broccoli, peppers or any other medium-firm vegetables into a second bowl. Tender vegetables like spinach, bok choy leaves, bean sprouts into a third bowl.

Heat a wok or large skillet until very hot. Add vegetable oil and heat until shimmering. Add shrimp and cook very quickly, for about one minute on each side. Remove shrimp from the pan. Add hard vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add medium-firm vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add soft vegetables, a tablespoon of Asian pesto, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for about a minute, until the vegetables wilt, add shrimp back in, and serve.

Farm Box Day

Today we had some familiar characters in the box, I sorted through them mentally and put them into categories: Strawberries, pink lady apples and cuties (lunch box), broccoli, celery, carrots, spinach, and cilantro (basic stir fry stuff), romaine lettuce and red beets (divine salad), and Romenesco broccoli and kale (wild cards.) This week I’ll be making a Shrimp Stir Fry with Asian Pesto, a Beef and Veggie Pot Pie with some yummy cheddar chive biscuits on top. I’ll serve the pot pie with a Romaine, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad tossed with my famous Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Roasting Romenesco broccoli and carrots for a dip.

I have a quart of Homemade Roasted Chicken Stock for soup this week, so I’ll make my Portuguese Green Soup using the gorgeous kale. For the Romensco broccoli, I’ll be repeating a dip I made with it last time it was in the box, in which I roasted it in the oven with carrots and garlic, then processed it with olive oil and feta cheese.  I can spread that on Akmak crackers or softly toasted baguette slices.