Pesto with Gnocchi

Nothing says summer like bright green pesto with a salty hint of parmigiano-reggiano, the buttery texture of pine nuts, grassy extra virgin olive oil and a bite of fresh garlic. Over the years, I’ve spent a few summers in Aulla, a town in Northern Tuscany, where the sea meets the mountains.
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Remix: Born to hand CHIVE baby!

The following recipe is a spin-off from a class I took with the Grand Rapids Cooking School at the Uptown Kitchen in Grand Rapids, MI.  At the class we made a Garlic Chive and Almond Pesto which was shockingly green and highly addicting!  I remixed it fusion-style with Asian Chives (which are very garlicky) and Candlenuts.  Candlenuts frequent the sauces and sambals of Malay and Indonesian cooking, acting as a thickener and are known for their high oil content.  I find it interesting, that throughout various parts of the world the candlenut plant is medicinal, treating ailments with the bark, leaves and fruit.

Perhaps this Pesto Remix not only awakens the taste buds but awakens the body too!

Asian Chive and Candlenut Pesto

5oz Fresh Asian Chives (Kow Choi)
3oz Candlenuts
a few sprigs of Culantro
a few sprigs of Cilantro
150 ml Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
freshly, grated Parmesan

In a mortar with pestle or food processor/spice coffee grinder, finely chop the candlenuts, chive, culantro, and cilantro while steadily pouring in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

I enjoyed this pesto on crusty baguette:

Asian Chive and Candlenut Pesto on Baguette

Slice open a baguette and butter both sides.  Smear each side with plenty of pesto.  Fire up the broiler and toast until bubbly and nicely browned!