Haricots verts and snow peas with hazelnut and orange by Ottolenghi
14oz haricots verts
14oz snow peas
1/2 cup unskinned hazelnuts
3/4 oz chives, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnut oil
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stock ends of the beans and snow peas keeping the two separate. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large saucepan. You need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their color. Blanch the beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. Leave to drain and dry. Repeat with the snow peas, but blanch only for 1 minute.
While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean kitchen towel to get rid of the skin. Chop the nuts. They should be rough; some can even stay whole.
Zest an orange.
To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.
Fusilli with Spinach and Walnut Pesto by Martha Stewart
The ridges in the spiral-cut fusilli are ideal for catching the pesto.
1 bunch of spinach (about a pound) trimmed and washed
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
1/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese
Add spinach and 1 tablespoon water to a large skillet set over medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. In a food processor, combine spinach, walnuts, oil, and lemon zest. Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add pesto, tossing to combine and adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats the pasta. Transfer to a serving plate, top with pecorino, and serve immediately.
Beets with Sherry Vinegar Dressing and Chives
Bunch of beets
Chives, finely chopped
Sherry vinegar (Arvum brand is great)
Sea salt (Maldon brand is great!)
Scrub the beets clean with a vegetable brush. Cover with water in a sauce pan and boil on medium high until tender. Drain water and cool slightly. Peel, then slice thinly with a mandolin and layer on a platter. Cover each layer with a generous splash of sherry vinegar. Continue your layers and top with your best olive oil, salt, and finely chopped chives.
Guacamole by Rosa Mexicana
So far this is my favorite Guacamole recipe. I sometimes omit the jalapeno and add a lime. I love serving it in the mortar and pestal.
3 hass avocados
3 tbps diced tomatoes
2 tbps chopped white onion
salt to taste
Grind 1 tbsp. finely chopped white onion, 1 firmly packed tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tsp. finely chopped jalapeño, and 1 tsp. salt together in a mortar and pestal until all the ingredients are well ground. (Alternatively, use a fork to mash the ingredients to a paste in a wide bowl.)
Cut 3 medium-ripe hass avocados (about 8 ounces each) in half. Twist the halves to separate them and remove the pit with the tip of the knife. Place an avocado half, cut side up, in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through its flesh down to the skin, without cutting through the skin. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same fashion.
Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the mortar and pestal. Repeat with remaining avocado halves. Gently fold the avocado into the chile–onion paste, keeping the avocado pieces fairly intact.
Add 3 tbsp. diced tomato, 2 firmly packed tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 tbsp. finely chopped white onion.
Fold together all the ingredients. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
Serve immediately, directly from the mortar and pestal (or bowl), with tortilla chips. Makes 4 servings.