Monday, September 17, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes with Basil Cream Sauce

Spousal Unit and I had the most amazing dinner in the world last night, and the thing that really made it was the basil cream sauce. When we went to Vegas (the one with the lights and the shows and the hey-hey), one of the first things we ate was a noodle dish with this amazing sauce in it. I decided to try my hand at it, over the stuffed tomato you see above.

Problem: I meant to pick up half and half while I was out, and I totally forgot. So I improvised by adding milk, butter, and cream cheese. And it turned out smooth, delectable, and rich. The base for this sauce? Just a recipe of your favorite pesto. I love what can be done with pesto.

The tomato itself isn't stuffed with anything too special: squash, banana peppers, garlic, couscous, chickpeas, arugula, more tomato, and some pesto, to tie the flavors together (though next time, I'm adding cayenne instead). After stuffing the hollow tomatoes, I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Pretty much everything you see above comes from our CSA. I'd never had blue potatoes before this summer, but they're a totally tasty dish. The gravy is my own recipe.

Don't have a favorite pesto recipe? Here's my favorite, modified from The $7 a Meal Cookbook by Linda Larsen.

Basil Pesto

3 c. fresh basil leaves (substitute with some spinach, if you don't have enough)
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/3 c. parmesan cheese (fresh or powdered)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4-1/3 c. water

Stuff the first five ingredients into your food processor. Add the oil and blend again. Add enough water to reach your desired consistency. Blend like mad. Eat like a king.

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