Have I told you how amazing my farmshare is? I am sure I have, but if I haven’t lately, well let me just tell you, it is. All summer long we (the members) get to pick a bunch of fresh herbs every week. Basil, scallions, dill, parsely, and cilantro. Planted every few weeks to keep us in the herbs all summer long. And every few weeks there is a herb free for all. Pick unlimited amounts of whatever herb is plentiful. Last week it was unlimited parsley. Yeah there was unlimited basil and that was nice too, but the parsley, the underrated, overlooked herb. That was what I wanted and I picked the shit out of it.
Parsley. No I is not just a green sprig that garnishes your plate at a restaurant. It is a great spicy, fresh, clean tasting herb that plays so well with everything. I really think parsley can, and should, make it’s way into almost any dish. It adds a touch more brightness to any spice blend. And there is just something about munching on some fresh parsley, it just works for me. Parsley is good friends. No. Parsley is great.
So now we match said parsley with another bright herb, mint, and blend it up into a pesto. Magic on the tongue. And a no brainer for pesto is pasta, although this pesto would make a great spread or smothered on grilled veggies or scooped into soup.
A summery pesto pasta salad dish situation. Perfect for all the times that you are hungry and need food.
To the pesto pasta salad!
The stuff. Parsley. mint, a few scallions, toasted almonds, garlic, a lemon, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Also pasta, a cucumber, and a big handful of cherry tomatoes.
First for pesto. Start by pulsing the almonds in a food processor until they become a nice crumb. Remove about 1/4 cup and set aside.
Grab the herbs and scallions and remove any really wooden stems (keep the more tender ones) and rip the herbs into smaller pieces.
All the parsley, mint, and scallions now go into food processor with almonds, along with the garlic, nutritional yeast, the juice of the lemon, and a pinch of salt and some crack pepper. Pulse the food processor and stream in the olive oil until everything comes together. You might need to stop and scrape the sides a few times.
And then you have pesto!
Now you need pasta. Cook it to the directions on the package you got it from. Cook it all the way through then when you strain it, rinse it with a little cool water.
Chop up the cucumber into small chunks and half or quarter the cherry tomatoes.
And to put it all together. Pasta goes in a bowl. Add in the pesto. If the pesto seems a little on the thick side and not easily mixes, add in a little warm water to thin it out a bit.
Add the cucumber and tomatoes.
Mix some more, sprinkle on lots of the crumbled almonds you set aside, maybe a few more springs of parsley and a few more leaves of mint for good measure and call it done.
Be ready to eat cause this salad is ready to be eaten.
Parsley Mint Pesto Pasta Salad
Makes a pound of pasta
2 cups packed parsley (Curly or flat. I used curly)
1 cup packed mint
a few scallions if you have them
3/4 cup roasted almonds
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2- 3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound bow tie pasta
Big handful cherry tomatoes
a tender skinned cucumber
Note. This recipe makes a big batch of pesto and big pasta salad. You can totally make the all the pesto and only use half and only boil half of the pasta. Just stored left over pesto in a jar in the fridge for about week or so or stick it in the freezer for a few months. And you can use it for all sorts of great things like sandwiches, salads, as a dip… whatever you want.
To make the pesto. Place almonds in food processor and pulse until crumbly then remove about a 1/4 cup and set aside. Add in the garlic and pulse a few times. Then grab the parsley, mint, and scallions. Remove any tough stems and rip the herbs into smaller pieces. Add them to food processor along with the nutritional yeast, the juice of the lemon, and a good pinch or two of salt and lots of pepper. Pulse while slowly adding in the olive oil. Stop, scrap sides, then pulse until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Half or quarter cherry tomatoes and cut cucumber into small chunks
Cook the pasta. Big pot of boil water with a pinch pf salt. Cook until fully cooked, then drain. Give it a quick rinse of cool water. Dump the pasta into a big bowl.
To make the pasta salad. Scoop pesto into bowl with the pasta and mix it until all the pasta is evenly coated. If pesto is really thick, just add a little warm water to thin it out. Add in the cut up tomatoes and cucumber, mix, then top with the reserves ground up almonds and a handful more of chopped fresh mint and parsley.
Left overs should be stored in fridge for a a few days. Left over pesto a week or so and or in the freezer for a few months.