Happy Spring everyone! I’m so excited to have that awful winter behind us and officially set the calendar to “spring”. I absolutely love spring; the weather is pleasant, the flowers are blooming, and everyone just seems so darn happy (including me!). Some of my favorite things about spring are:
1. Cherry Blossoms. I’ve lived in the DC area for nearly 15 years and I don’t think I’ve missed seeing the cherry blossoms once. Walking around on a gorgeous spring day with flower petals wafting through the air…it’s just magical.
2. Farmers markets! Our farmers markets close for the winter, but they open again in April and May. And I just dive into that spring produce: asparagus, greens, ramps, squash blossoms, strawberries, peas. I can’t get enough.
3. Gardening. I’m an awful gardener. I have a patio where I like to fill planters with herbs, vegetables, and flowers. My plants always end up dead or overgrown by the end of summer, and my vegetables never really produce any actual vegetables. But every spring I get to start with a clean slate and try again. Maybe this will be the year that my plants will stay gorgeous all summer long and I will actually grow some vegetables!
To celebrate the first day of spring, I’m offering a giveaway! One of my favorite cookbooks is A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop of Cooks Illustrated. The cookbook is organized by seasons and is completely vegetable-centric so is an amazing way take advantage of the best seasonal produce. While we’re not vegetarian, I try to make most meals that start with vegetables and go from there, so I use this cookbook often!
One of my favorite recipes is to make pesto out of just about anything. This Pecan-Arugula pesto from the cookbook is an awesome combination of rich, nutty pecans and sharp, peppery young arugula.
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 1/2 cups packed stemmed arugula leaves
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the table
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pound linguine
- Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta.
- Place the nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the nuts, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Cool the nuts.
- Process the cooled nuts, arugula, and garlic in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the ingredients are finely ground. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until thick and fairly smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl large enough to hold the cooked pasta. (The pesto will be very thick.) Stir in the cheese, the nutmeg, and salt to taste. (Salt the pesto generously; it has to season a pound of pasta.)
- Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and daring the pasta. Stir 1/2 cup of the cooking water into the bowl with the pesto to achieve a saucier consistency. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss, adding more cooking water as necessary to moisten the pasta and help spread the pesto. Serve immediately, passing more grated cheese at the table.
from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop
5 chances to win! Make sure to leave a comment about each of ways you entered to be counted. Winner will be selected by random.org. U.S. residents only. Giveaway starts on Thursday, March 20 and ends at 9pm EST on Tuesday, March 25.
1. Leave a comment telling me what is your favorite thing about spring.
2. Follow @gourmetmommy on twitter and tweet the following: Happy Spring! I’ve just entered to #win a #vegetarian seasonal cookbook from @gourmetmommy. http://wp.me/p4gDMM-CW #giveaway
3. Like Gourmet Mommy on Facebook and share this Facebook post
4. Follow GourmetMommy2 on Pinterest
5. Subscribe to Gourmet Mommy updates by email or RSS (link in sidebar)
Please remember to leave a comment for each of the ways you enter. Otherwise only one entry will be counted. If you already like me on facebook or follow me on twitter or pinterest, that counts! Just share a post about this giveaway and let me know by leaving a separate comment.
I wasn’t compensated for this giveaway, I just wanted to share one of my favorites.
To enter leave a comment.
U.S. residents only.
One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random, using random.org. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.