Friday, July 23, 2010

Mint Pesto with Zucchini and Feta

Mint pesto with zucchini and feta

I had written this great post over a year ago, but never actually published it. I don’t really know why... maybe because I was too lazy to spell check it. Anyways... here is some of it...

Now that the summer has arrived I, and consequently Ian, are on this local food diet where we are trying to buy our produce from the farmers markets.

This whole craze we're on now stemmed from my reading two books, In Defence of Food, and Animal Vegetable Miracle. I love to read, and lately I have been getting myself into some stellar books that have seriously made me consider the way I live my life. Yes I know, this is probably a phase but please humour me here. Of course the very first book I read about the foodie culture was Julie and Julia, the book that pushed me to take up Ian’s idea of a food blog. Yup, that’s how Coco Bean came about!

The next was one called "The Brain that Changes Itself”, you may have seen this on the shelves a year or two ago. It’s a book about brain plasticity and how science is finally starting to learn how to help people with strokes and learning disabilities overcome their problems by using the healthy areas of their brains. It all seems like it’s out of a sci-fi book, because they teach blind people to see and work with a seemingly normal girl who is missing the whole left side of her brain! The author writes in a very simple and engaging tone, not pompous as many tend to be, well worth the time to look for at your local library.

I then moved on to “In Defence of Food” where I wasn’t expecting much, but by the end I was hanging off of every word Polain wrote, even if it was a little condescending and self riotous.

Ok, back to July 2010… so that’s as far as I got. Yes I am still shopping at farmers markets, buying free run organic eggs, trying to buy my meat from local butchers and farms, and really make an effort to buy locally.

I realized that it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be, and I just had to change the way I thought about my food. Maybe our brain is plastic and we can fully change our ways.

By the way... this is the best pasta for a local foodie dying from the summer heat and was just as good the other day as it was last summer.
Mint pesto with zucchini and feta

Mint Pesto with Zucchini and Feta
Jose DiStasio's pasta book- amazing!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2cloves garlic, minced
5-8 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced ½-inch (1-cm) thick
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb pasta
175g feta coarsely crumbled
mint pesto
handful of toasted pinenuts (about 1⁄3 cup)
freshly ground black pepper

Mint pesto:
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp feta
grated rind and juice of one lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup (75 mL) extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, chop mint, feta and hot pepper flakes. Add lemon juice and rind, salt and pepper. Add oil and blend, but leave it coarse. Heat oil in a large skillet and add garlic and zucchini. Sauté over medium-high until lightly golden, 4 to 5 minutes, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Add salt.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain well, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid.Toss pasta, feta and pesto in a large bowl, adding a little reserved liquid if sauce seems dry. Season to taste. Sprinkle with pine nuts