Flavorful Tips for Pesto Sauce and Butternut Squash Soup…

Yesterday my friend Jeanine and I took a cooking class in SausalitoJeanine and Vicki at ITK (ITK) on gluten-free cooking. She has been eating gluten-free for about a year, and my husband Tim and I have recently discovered that a gluten-free diet really helps cut down on the achy joints!  We figured there is always more to learn – and there was! [more…]

One of the recipes we made was quinoa salad with pesto and roasted broccoli. In the past I’ve note liked quinoa that much, but I have to say I really enjoyed this dish.  It was pretty simple, and the one trick that she gave us was to add lemon juice to the pesto sauce – it gave it a great rich flavor.  For a cup of pesto we added the juice of a half of lemon just at then end of blending.  We then tossed the cooked quinoa (1 cup cooked in 2 cups water for 20 minutes) with the pesto; roasted two heads of broccoli flowerets for about 20 minutes (tossed with a Tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper), then mixed it all together.  Quite yummy, and easy.

The other trick she shared was to add 1/2 – 3/4 of a 16 oz. can coconut milk to a roasted butternut squash soup at the end during the pureeing  (there is a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup in Mangia! I Love You) .  We agreed that it made the soup more flavorful and took away the “sharpness” of flavors in the soup, leaving a very mellow and warm taste..  She also added a bit of fresh ginger when cooking the soup that also enhanced the flavors.

In both cases she pointed out that a bit of acid (the lemon and the ginger) will bring out more flavors in food.  I did not know this – I love learning!  Hope this was helpful to you too!

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