Chilled Steamed Asparagus with Chervil Dressing
This simple, very quick, and easy to make recipe, is tasty and elegant. :)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 Tablespoons chopped chervil
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds tender young asparagus
Whisk together the lemon juice, chervil, and egg yolk in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Cover and chill. Whisk for a minute or so just before serving.
Trim the asparagus of any fibrous ends and steam it in a vegetable-steamer over simmering water until it is crisp-tender and turns a bright emerald green, no more than 5 minutes. Remove to a colander and place under cold running water until it is cool. Drain the asparagus and chill it until serving time.
This should only take about 7-12 minutes to make.
Pasta with Pesto Sauce
- Again this is something that is easy to make, and won't take long if you have a food processor, or a blender. It's incredibly simple, but in it's simplicity it's divine. The fresher the ingredients, the better the pesto. :)
- 1 cups of fresh basil, washed and de-stemmed
- 1/2 cup of parsley (flat-leafed is best)
- 1/2 cup of coriander
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of pine nuts (optional, though they make the pesto better)
- 1/2 tsp of coarse ground black pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of shredded asiago cheese (or freshly grated parmesan)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound (500 g) of pasta of your choice (I usually choose ribbed penne or bow tie pasta, but that's just me, pasta is pasta.)
If you are using a food processor put the first 7 ingredients into it, being careful not to let the pesto liquefy, then transfer it to a bowl and stir in the cheese and the oil.
If you are using a marble mortar, put the first 7 ingredients in it, and grind the mixture (depending on how big your mortar is, you may have to do this in sections), firmly crushing the ingredients against the sides of the mortar, rather than striking sharp blows with the pestle. When the mixture is ground, add the cheese, a bit of time, continuing to grind, and when it's all worked in, add the oil in a slow stream, stirring with a wooden spatula.
The resulting pesto should be smooth and creamy. It should be poured over hot pasta.
If the pasta is cooked already and you are using a food processor, this should take about 10 minutes. If the pasta is not cooked, and you are using a marble mortar, this should talk about 30 minutes.
Honey Poppy Seed Cake
-Now I know this doesn't sound all that romantic, but it's really yummy. It also won't leave you incredibly full and heavy feeling (unless you eat tons of it at once!) This cake can be made a day or two before you plan on dishing it up, so you don't have to spend an hour and a half in the kitchen before you plan on eating it, and it will taste really refreshing you serve it cold. Though warm definitely gives it the 'freshly baked taste'. Honey and poppy seeds are also known to be aphrodisiacs, so do with this what you will. :P
- 1 cup of poppy seeds
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1 cup of butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
In a small sauce pan cook the poppy seeds with the honey and 1/4 cup of water on medium for 5-7 minutes. Set the poppy seed mixture aside and let it cool off.
Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled poppy seed mixture to the creamed mixture, and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Gradually add the poppy seed mixture to the dry ingredients, beating well. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into a lightly greased and floured 9 inch tube (or bundt) pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Depending on your oven you may have to give or take about three minutes, so check the cake by putting a toothpick into it, and if it comes up with nothing or almost nothing sticking to it, it's done.) Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, give or take. Remove the cake from the pan carefully, and put it on a cooling rack.
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