Last week found this Pesto-preneur in and out of the kitchen.
I always try to start each week out making a fresh batch of pesto to use in sandwiches, salad dressings, vegetable dishes and pizza bases. I accomplished all of the above.
As I have mentioned in the past, a weekend ritual is walking to the Union Square Green Market. This weekend we did not because our Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood just welcomed a great little market – Farmacy (www.instagram.com/farmacynyc) – tucked into a small, deep, open lot on 10th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets. I love the name! I have already made three visits. First visit I picked up a ripe cantaloupe and a carton of beautiful red, ripe tomatoes. You may not yet know, but, I am obsessed with my “Inspiralizer”. Ali Maffucci, the founder of Inspiralized.com, recently posted a video (Instagram/Inspiralized) making cantaloupe noodles. I had to try it. It worked quite well. First you must peel the skin off. Attach it to the Inspiralizer using Blade C to create a linguine style noodle. Spiralize to the middle of the melon, pause, remove the melon and clean out all the seeds. Return the melon to the machine and complete the spiralizing. You will have a lot of juice draining from the long noodles. I used that juice to make a vinaigrette with Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I cut small mozzarella balls into even smaller bites and pan roasted pancetta cubes and then mixed it all together for a wonderful, cool, sweet and savory, crunchy, perfect summer salad.
Being in the Pesto business, pizza is a staple in our house. This week we tried something a little different. Trader Joe’s has a new Cauliflower Pizza Crust. It seems it is always sold out when we do our shopping. This time I saw a woman holding 2 of them and when I asked where she found them, she told me these were the last two but she would be happy to let me have one of them. Nice lady! That same evening I made one of our favorites – Brussel Sprouts Pizza with a Pesto Ricotta Base topped with Pancetta Cubes, shredded Quattro Formaggio and Mozzarella Cheese. It bakes in a 475 degree oven for 12 – 14 minutes. We really enjoyed the change from a traditional pizza dough. I was pleasantly surprised as each slice of pizza held up well with little to no crumbling.
The following day, Dave and I celebrated our 21st anniversary. We decided upfront – no cards, no fancy dinners, no gifts. Just a delightful dinner in Brooklyn with our daughter Hope, and two friends at Paulie Gee’s Pizza in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. One step inside this dark wood accented restaurant, we knew we were in for a treat. This pizzeria came highly recommended and we understood why. To start with, the wood fired pizza pie names and descriptions (Menu) are great: Ricky Ricotta, Anise & Anephew, Brian DeParma, and the 4 that our table ordered: the Greenpointer, A Whiter Shade of Kale, Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me and our favorite, Cherry Jones, which had mozzarella, gorgonzola, prosciutto, dried cherries and a drizzle of honey. It was divine! The crust was slightly chewy and moist. The ingredients are locally sourced when possible. The prices are fair – from $12 for a simple pie to under $20 for the most expensive.
What is the perfect way to finish a perfect evening? A trip to Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream of course! I tried the Vegan Turmeric with Palm Sugar Ice Cream which was not too sweet and had a yellow-orange hue. It was really good and I got all the health benefits of an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant spice compound. I just love evenings like these – easy, simple food and great neighborhoods to walk around and explore. Looking forward to another adventure this week.