Saturday, July 28, 2012
Routinely, the Schreiber and Sons booth at the farmers' market is stuffed with greens of all sorts, including herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint. Arugula is also frequently seen, but it seems to have a hiatus at certain times of year, and something the Schreiber folks call "cress" takes its place.
Cress is very peppery and hot, but will mellow nicely when teamed with basil. It makes people wonder what the mystery flavor is!
If you're pasta-free, julienned zucchini or shredded cauliflower make good "noodles," sauteed and tossed with this spicy sauce, as do sliced onions. It's great on mixed vegetables as well. Tuck a dab of cressto alongside meats, or dollop it onto soups.
Freeze it in dabs on a Silpat-lined cookie sheet, and you can toss it into winter dishes for a lovely reminder of summer.
1 bag cress or arugula (about 4 ounces), washed and spun dry
1 bunch basil leaves (about 4 ounces), washed and spun dry
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup almonds, blanched or not, or walnuts or pecans
Place basil and cress in food processor and pulse to a chopped state.
Add olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and process until garlic is incorporated.
Add nuts, blend until nuts are finely chopped. Scrape and needed and blend again.
If storing, place plastic wrap directly on surface of cressto to keep it from browning.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups