Farro with Pesto, Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper

The idea for this recipe came from one of the recipe mailing lists to which I subscribe. I liked the concept of pesto with farro. I changed up the add-ins and served this warm.

Results were mixed. One person felt it didn’t need the pesto, another adored the pesto. Most just gobbled it up. 🙂

Farro with Pesto, Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups uncooked pearled farro
  • 2 zucchinis (see directions for prep)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and 1/2″ dice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 8 oz. prepared basil pesto
  • 4 oz. pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 oz. fresh basil, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart sauce pan. Add the salt and bay leaves; stir until salt is dissolved. Add the farro and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  2. While the farro cooks prep the zucchini. Remove the stem end and then cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds from the center of each quarter and then slice into 1/2″ wedges. Combine with peppers and set aside.
  3. When farro is ready drain it and transfer to a large bowl. Mix the zucchini and pepper mixture into the farro. Gently fold the pesto and half of the pine nuts into the mix.
  4. Just before serving garnish with the remaining pine nuts and fresh basil.

Notes:
Pearled farro will cook faster than the semi-pearled variety, which is what I normally use. My regular brand (Bob’s Red Mill) was out of stock at the local megamart where I normally pick it up. Luckily I found another brand close at hand.

The original recipe that sparked my recipe can be found at campbells.com

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Cucumber with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

I made these for our holiday party this year. I was in search of a vegetable appetizer, something that was a single bit and savory. I found a recipe titled “Gluten Free Cucumber Slices Provençal” which fit the bill.

Cucumber with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Cucumber with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

I’m not sure why the title includes the words “gluten free”. It is gluten free however I can’t conceive of a way to make the dish that would include gluten. Anyway, I made a few changes to the recipe so it fit it to my taste.
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Pesto Mozzarella Cups

Working with premade phyllo shells (sometimes labeled “fillo” in your grocers freezer) you can make some easy and tasty appetizers. I had purchased some locally-made pesto and had a bit of marinara that came with a calzone leftover. I picked up some “pearl” mozzarella balls at the store, along with the phyllo shells, and faster than you can recite Jabberwocky a tasty small bite was created.

Pesto Mozzarella Cups
Servings: 10-15 (figure 2 cups per person)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pkgs phyllo cups
  • 1/2 cup pesto (store bought, locally bought, whatever you like)
  • 30 “pearl” mozzarella balls
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce (again, whatever you like)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the phyllo shells from the package to the baking sheet. Fill each shell with a scan 1/4 teaspoon of pesto.
  3. Top the pesto in each cup with a mozzarella ball. Spoon maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of marinara sauce over the mozzarella.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 5 minutes. The shell should pick up a bit of color and the mozzarella should start to melt.

Notes:
I typically make these in 2 batches, starting the second batch when I notice that the plate holding the first batch is almost empty.