I was so inspired with Food Network Asia yesterday on channel 727 (Astro), that I just had to cook up what I watched but of course with improvisions to suit my taste.....and it was SO Easy and yummmilicious!. Tested it out on my girls and it was a hit ...a total clean out. This was my first attemp on making home made pesto sauce.....but something different from the conventional pesto recipe...it had a nur's touch to it :D
First...I roasted 15 garlic pods and same number of cherry tomatoes drowned in olive oil. (Place the garlic pods and cherry tomatoes in an oven proof bowl and cover it with olive oil). Oven temp. set at 375C for 25 minutes. The garlic and tomato infused olive oil had a really good flavour and aroma.
In a blender, add :
1. the roasted tomatoes and garlic with enough of the olive oil. (save some for the salad dressing)
2. a small packet parmeson cheese
3. half a can of cream of mushroom
4. 3 table spoons of Tomato paste.
5. Some Fresh parsley and Bay leaves
5. salt and pepper
Footnote : If you are the type that prefers your sauce a little watery, then you may add just a little water in the blender.
Blend all ingredients and set aside.
Boil the linguini till al dente (add some salt and olive oil in the pot of water before boiling).
While it boils ....just saute some large shrimp/prawns in butter and set aside. Do not over cook so it remains nice and succulent.
Heat the sauce over the stove for aprox. 3 minutes and turn the heat off.
You have a choice of adding the buttered shrimp in the sauce before topping the Linguini OR add it separately on top of the linguini topped with the sauce.
Shitake or Champignon mushrooms - remove stems and slice thick
Baby asparagus - cut into 2" lengths
Baby carrots - cut into halves
snow peas (the bulby crunchy type, not the flat ones)
Yellow Bell pepper - slice
green pea sprouts
some almond flakes
some bits of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries etc)
- Saute the mushrooms in butter till a little brown - set aside in a salad bowl.
- Saute asparagus and bell pepper in butter for only 2 minutes - place in same bowl.
- Boil baby carrots just a few minutes to maintain it's crunchiness and Blanch the snow peas for about a minute till it's green color comes out fully. Add both the above vegetables to an ice bath (cold water and ice in a bowl) to stop the cooking and to maintain it's fresh color and crunchiness. Toss and add to the Salad bowl.
- Add all other ingredients
Tangy Salad Dressing
- In a bowl place the balance of the garlic infused olive oil.
- Add some promeganate/date/balsamic vinegar
- Add 1 tabsp sugar
- Add salt and pepper
- Mix the mixture with a hand whisk and pour it over the Salad.