I like to play in the kitchen.
Sometimes I’m inspired by magazine articles or blogs I read. On occasion it’s the weather. Other times it’s my mood. Colors and cravings definitely come into play.
And then there are days I am inspired by necessity. There is the desire to use up all the leftovers. Sometimes it’s the broccoli I bought that’s looking a little weathered or the potatoes sprouting in their bowl on the counter top.
Lots of days my inspiration comes from being straight up hungry. Hungry!
I start rummaging through the cabinets while inventing concoctions of ingredients with no rhyme or reason. I imagine flavor combinations and balance, rooting around for proteins and vegetables and perhaps an applicable starch.
Do you do this?
It’s a useful skill. Cooking out of necessity sometimes yields the best results and NEVER breaks the bank.
I used the ingredients pictured above (leftover roasted asparagus and red onions, walnuts, garlic, and olive oil) for an on-the-fly pesto a few weeks ago and tossed it with some tri-colored rotini. A sprinkle of cheese, a few slivers of grilled chicken, and a simple salad were DINNER! And quite tasty, though my haphazard photos were not so appealing. Which is why this is the first you’re hearing about it.
Sorry bout that.
The good news is that I went for round two! Are you excited?
This pesto is about to be kind of adventurous.
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or about ¼ cup fresh)
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (ish) olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the asparagus with just enough olive oil to coat it and sprinkle it with the kosher salt. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet (one with sides or the oil will drip!) and roast for 7-10 minutes, turning the asparagus over halfway through.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven and set it aside.
- Put the garlic, onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and bread crumbs into your food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Add the asparagus and pulse some more until you have a nice green paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is to your desired consistency. Add the cheese and then more olive oil, if necessary.
- Set a small dish of water next to a clean work surface. One wonton wrapper at a time, spoon a heaping teaspoon full of pesto into the center. Dab water around the top two edges and then gently press to seal.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- When all of your ravioli is prepared, toss it into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. It will float when it’s cooked!
- Drain the ravioli and toss with the tomato sauce.
Based on Green Pea Pesto from Joy the Baker… delicious.