this week's menu and a recipe

By Monday, November 30, 2009 , , , ,

I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday. Ours was fabulous — good food, good wine, good company, and good cheer! Pickle had the time of his life with his cousins Caitlyn and Luke. They literally ran around my parent's dining-room table for a half-hour chanting "Follow Rhys!" He was in heaven.

We eat later than most on Thanksgiving (around 6 p.m.) so that gives us some time to nosh on hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon while watching football and catching up. My assignment was to bring some of those snacks. My sister Heather was bringing a selection of cheeses and cured meats, so I thought I would balance that with some sort of dip/spread. I made Gourmet's recipe for muhammara — a Turkish roasted red pepper/tomato spread — and also my own recipe for a pumpkin seed/tomatillo "pesto" in which I baked some local goat's cheese.

The pesto literally came to me in a dream (yes, I even dream about food!). I thought pumpkin seeds were thematically appropriate for Thanksgiving. And I also thought some amped-up flavors were a good counterbalance to the traditionally clean and simple flavors of the dinner to come.

As you can see in the photo, this combo of dips would be perfect for the upcoming Christmas holiday, since it is a very appropriate red and green. Without further ado, here's the recipe and below that is our menu for the week.

Baked chevre with pumpkin-seed & tomatillo pesto
1/2 cup roasted and salted pepitos (pumpkin seeds)
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and all
3 scallions, cleaned, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 can of tomatillos (or 8 fresh tomatillos, blanched and peeled)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 oz fresh chevre, sliced into three or four "coins"
tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, place the pumpkin seeds and blitz until roughly chopped. Add cilantro and scallions and pulse 3-4 times; add tomatillos and cumin and pulse until mixture begins to get smooth. With machine running, slowly pour olive oil in through the feed tube.

In a oven-proof 1-quart baking dish, place half of the pesto. Arrange the chevre coins on top and cover with the remaining pesto. Bake for 15-20 minute, until bubbly and warmed through and chevre is starting to melt. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Menu: week of 29 November 2009
Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs
Monday: tortellini en brodo with lacinato kale
Tuesday: Grilled cheese with ham and Bosc pear served with mixed greens vinaigrette
Wednesday: Meatball subs with roasted brussel sprouts
Thursday: Roasted butternut squash and beets in a cumin-shallot vinaigrette with hummus and whole-grain flatbread
Friday: Pizza with sauteed wild mushrooms and red onion

Happy eating, -s.

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  1. We made the pesto - delicious! I had to make a substitution as my roasted pumpkins seeds refused to properly grind. I only had cashews, which I quickly dry roasted and exchanged for the stubborn seeds. The result was scrumptious - the cashews add a pleasant buttery touch. I served it with warm, crusty bread. Delicious!