Miss “T” is home from college and bored as she can be. She has looked and looked for a job but to her dismay no one has hired her. Personally I think the jobs were filled by time she was home and able to apply. I’ve made an effort to encourage her to kick back and relax, reminding her that she’ll be back on campus and in class again before too long. That suggestion was met with disdain as she reminded me that the need for money was at the forefront of the job search. Ah Ha!
I started to think about how I could help her find an outlet to make a little money and stir her creative side at the same time. I came up with a plan that has worked out perfectly. I asked her if she’d like to shop for groceries, prepare dinner and clean up the kitchen a few nights a week. I buy the groceries, she cooks and cleans and I pay her for her efforts. So far she’s turned out homemade tomato basil soup accompanied by a delicious “havarti” grilled cheese and a fantastic meal using fresh made pesto.
We discuss the weeks menu and she divulges what’s up her sleeve, to ensure that we have the ingredients on hand or put them on the list. When she told me she was thinking of pesto and pasta I informed her that I had a big bunch of fresh Italian parsley that needed to be used. She found a recipe for pesto using Italian parsley and prepared one of the most delicious pestos I’ve ever eaten. She served it over fresh made sun-dried tomato pasta with a side of sautéed chicken in garlic and cream.
The color of this pesto makes me want to jump in with a big spoon. The taste is fresh, garlicky and cheesy. The ingredient that was most surprising to me was peanuts. My budding chef likes peanuts and so decided to use them in the recipe in place of walnuts. This recipe could be adapted for those with peanut allergies by using walnuts or the traditional pine nuts. I repeat, “it is one of the best tasting pestos I’ve ever eaten”. Miss “T” is two for two and I couldn’t be happier. Fresh made healthy meals waiting for me and served with a smile by my favorite baby girl! I think we’re on to something….
2 cloves garlic
2 cups packed, stemmed Italian parsley
1/4 cup peanuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a food processor place the garlic, parsley, pinch salt, peanuts, and cheese. Process until they form a paste. Gradually blend in olive oil, taste adjust your seasoning if necessary.