Recipes for Early Spring: Part III

The third and final class of the Promises of Spring local food cooking class series was taught by yet another Ecology Action Centre staff member – Jennifer West, Groundwater Coordinator AND lover of local food!

I had been looking forward to this class for quite some time as it included handmade pasta. While Jen brought a handy tool for thinning and cutting the pasta, it is certainly possible to make (slightly thicker) pasta without it so don’t be scared off by the needed for equipment.

Veggies and Dips

Creamy Herb Dip
½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 tsp fresh dill or ½ tsp dry dill

Mix all ingredients together and serve with carrots, mushrooms, or roasted root vegetables.

Asian Peanut Dip
Prep time: ¼ hour mixing
½ cup peanut butter
¼ tsp pepper flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
¼ cup water (or until desired consistency, natural peanut butter won’t become as creamy and smooth as commercial PB)

Mix all ingredients together and serve with carrots, mushrooms, roasted root vegetables, apples and pears.

Main Course

Fresh Pasta (serves 4)pasta
2 cups flour (we used Speerville flour)
3 eggs
Mix flour and eggs.  Knead into ball. Once thoroughly kneaded, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Then cut into 8 pieces and run through a pasta machine, as per manufacturer directions.  Dust with flour.  Boil for 5 to 7 minutes.  Serve with your favourite sauce, such as the Easy Tomato Pesto below.

Easy Tomato Pesto
1 can diced tomatoes (28oz)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
(optional) 1/2 cup toasted almonds, or other nut of your choice.Pasta with Tomato pesto
Grated parmesan cheese to taste (¼ to ½ cup). We used Foxhill parmesan cheese which is available at the Seaport Market most days of the week now!

To toast nuts: On medium, heat a cast iron pan with no oil.  Add nuts, stirring regularly.  Remove from heat as soon as they start to turn brown, approximately 5 minutes.

To make pesto: Mix tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and toasted nuts in a blender or food processor.  Blend under smooth.

Toss with noodles and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Dessert

Maple Ice CreamHomemade Ice Cream
Prep time: ½ hour
2 cups milk (we used Foxhill milk – if you haven’t tried it yet, head down to the Halifax Seaport Market this weekend!)
2 cups cream
¾ cup maple syrup
5 egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and maple syrup.  Heat until scalded, but not boiling.  Separate 5 eggs.  Place yolks in a small bowl.  Add approximately 1 cup of the scalded milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until thoroughly combined.  Add egg mixture to remaining milk cream mixture.  Continue stirring until the ice cream base thickens (sticks to the spoon a little). Remove from heat.

Place mixture in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve with fruit.

This was my last cooking class for a while as I’m stepping out of the kitchen and into the fields for the summer! Thanks to all the wonderful instructors that have taught me so much and thanks to all of the terrific local food lovers who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a meal with. Enjoy the tasty cooking classes to come!

Yours in food, Keltie

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