On Saturday my friends and I went out for some all-you-can-eat sushi and sake bombing at this restaurant called New Ashiya on 1st Avenue between 10th and 11th. For those of you who don't know, sake bombing basically consists of you dropping a shot of sake into a glass of beer and then chugging it as fast as possible. The best part is that you balance the shot of sake on top of your glass of beer (it's held in place by the chopsticks that you've placed on top of your glass to hold it) and then everyone bangs on the table at the same time so that the shot falls into the glass. I'm not usually one to drink a lot but this was a TON of fun. I ended up doing four. Everyone was impressed. Thankfully, all the alcohol that I ingested was balanced out by the 6 rolls of sushi that I ate (running 14.5 miles really gives you an appetite). Rice is a wonderful absorber.
Anyway, at the dinner one of the guys in my class randomly turned to me and said, "I suspect we have very similar tastes in food." I was kind of taken aback but then he started listing his favorite foods of all time. The things he can't go a day without eating. Oatmeal. Peanut butter. Almond butter. Butternut squash. Sweet potatoes. Apples. Mangoes. (Side note - this actually wasn't as out-of-the-blue as it sounds. His girlfriend is in culinary school and he knows about the blog, so we talk about food from time to time.)
His saying this got me thinking about my palate and how certain types of recipes just seem to draw me in. Anything with the words coconut and lime in the title, dishes with green sauces, winter squash, salmon, curry, peanut butter, avocado. I'm sure everyone has their own constellation of ingredients or characteristics that they look for in a food but it is so interesting to me just how different (or similar) they can be. It makes me wonder if flavor preferences come in sets so that if I'm inclined to like butternut squash, lets say, it means I must also like peanut butter and coconut, etc. I don't know if this even makes sense but this kind of rambling is what happens when you are slightly tipsy and manage to convince yourself that every thought you have is incredibly profound.
To be fair there is some relevance to the pistachio pesto that I made since pesto is a green sauce and we've already decided that I have a proclivity for green sauces. This recipe caught my eye when it appeared on Closet Cooking. I've always been fascinated by pestos that use non-traditional nuts or herbs. The pistachios lent the pesto a sweeter flavor than pine nuts do, which was actually very nice. It's too bad that I used all of my basil because i would have loved to make this in bulk for use during the winter. I still have most of the bag of pistachios left, so I guess I will just have to stop by Whole Foods and pick some more up.
Before I get to the recipe, I would like to thank Palidor of Crazy Asian Gal for giving me this award:
I have to nominate 7 other bloggers - Sophia of Burp and Slurp, Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, Donna of My Tasty Treasures, Kim of Stirring the Pot, Denise of Keeper Worthy Recipes, Mari of Namaste, and Shannon of Tri 2 Cook.
AND I also have to list 7 of my personality traits. I would say I am a very driven person (I always like to be challenged and will work hard to achieve my goals), intelligent, compassionate, whimsical, confident, controlling (in the sense that I like there to be a plan and to know what the plan is and that usually requires me being the planner since most people aren't as picky about such things), and generous.
This is my blender full of basil and pistachios. It looked too pretty not to take a picture.
Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash
Serves 4, adapted from Closet Cooking
1 lb pasta
1 large tub of basil
about 37 pistachios (Kevin said 2 tbsp but I kept adding them until it tasted right since I also used more basil)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup spinach (for green-ness)
1 lb butternut squash, diced into small pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 400/425. Place the squash on a baking sheet, spray it with cooking spray, sprinkle it with salt and cook for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Set up the water for the pasta.
2. Combine the basil, pistachios, garlic, parmesan cheese, spinach, and olive oil in a food processor and process until reaches desired consistency.
3. Cook the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Mix the pasta with the pesto and butternut squash. Add in the pasta water until sauce reaches desired consistency. Add salt to taste and top with grated parmesan cheese.
I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Giz and Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen.
This picture is for Sophia who likes all things green :D.