This Caprese Salad is inspired by Mozza Pizzeria in Los Angeles, California. Slow-roasted tomatoes are served atop a bed of burrata cheese, a spoonful of fresh pesto and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
I’m not sure if I’ve told you this but I’ve been on this six-week transformation thingy and it’s almost over. It has required that I workout nearly six days a week, which I actually enjoy, and eat a diet full of healthy, non-fun things, which I clearly do not enjoy.
Of course I’ve cheated here and there because food is what I do and it’s hard, man. I’ve learned on this six-week journey that food for me is so social and emotional and in a way, not to sound cheesy, so heavily tied into my everyday life. So, it’s been hard, but I feel healthy and strong, which was my goal from the very beginning.
Last week I made this pasta and ate an entire bowl; as I sat there eating gluten, I thought about how happy pasta makes me. Ahh! I was cheating but I didn’t care. Arugula pesto with walnuts and goat cheese and Spring-y fava beans with salty prosciutto is seriously what makes me happy.
What’s good about this pasta is that it’s relatively light pasta. It’s Spring-y, snappy and doesn’t give you that heavy feeling that’s often associated with meat-based sauces.
Oreo decided to be super nice and send me their two new soon-to-be-released cookies: Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. So of course I ate like 10 in one sitting and felt sick and terrible about myself. I contemplated not eating for the rest of the day just to make up for it, but quickly admitted to myself that I could never do that. I’m not a girl who goes on cleanses. They’ve never worked out for me. Instead I just eat some carrots.
Last year Josh whipped me up a snack of roasted carrots, whipped goat cheese and carrot-top pesto. I remember having my mind blown a little bit. Up until that point I don’t think I had eaten the tops of the carrot before; I’m pretty sure I usually just threw those things away with absolutely no remorse. But why? I used beet greens in stuff before, why not the tops of carrots?
When I think about making pesto, a romantic little picture is painted in my brain. I’m in a rustic, Tuscany-style home, barefoot in some sort of oldish, wrinkled – yet totally chic – long, linen dress, in a kitchen that’s older than my great, great grandma, and I’m there making pesto with the guidance of a sweet Italian old woman I can barely communicate with.
I’m adding stuff to the mortar and pestal, grinding it up and we’re laughing and looking adorable. The pesto is made from fresh basil that I picked just a few moments before, the cheese made from the neighbor’s cow and the garlic is fresh from the early morning’s walk (because I imagine you can just walk down the street and run into garlic everywhere. I dunno?). I’ve never been to Italy, sadly, so I’m not positive, but in my brain this is how it works.
The real life story of this pesto is that it was made by a girl living in LA who’s had one too many tootsie rolls this past week and needs a proper dinner. I have electricity so I opted to make this using a food processor, though a pretty mortar and pestal is totally on my Christmas list!
I’m a pretty big fan of pestos that aren’t traditional (evidence: here and here), which makes me believe that maybe I should be calling them something other than “pestos,” but whatever. This “pesto” is what I like to think of as a basil-no-longer exists kind of pesto. It celebrates the changing season, so kale is in place of fresh basil.
In this instance I used dino. Mainly because it’s called dino and that’s the coolest name in the world for a vegetable. If I was a dude I totally wish my name was dino.
Also, do you think dinosaurs ate dino kale? Hope so.
I have cooking mood swings. There are days when I want something to go from my fridge, to a pan, to my mouth in, like, 15 minutes. I have recipes for that!
Other times–usually on Sundays–I want to cook something that’s a little challenging, you know, try a bit of a kitchen project. I think challenges are a good time. I really enjoy throwing on music and starting something that’s a little tricky; I find it methodical (and often times delicious).
Enter: homemade pasta.
No fancy Kitchenaid pasta attachment needed. Just a fork and a rolling pin. That’s all. And some muscles, too. You’ll for sure get a crazy bicep workout rolling out dough.
This is a bit of a step-by-step. I think we should dive in. Now!
(This post is in collaboration with Bravo for their show, Around the World in 80 Plates. This week they’re in Rome, Italy. Check it out on Wednesday at 10pm/9pmc on Bravo!!)