It’s a simply gorgeous day here in Central Florida. Warm but not too hot and not yet humid. These are the days of spring that we wait for all year long! My basil plants are fairly glowing, they are so green and gorgeous! The earthy, spicy, green taste of basil puts me in a PESTO mood! But it’s Friday, Mike will be off tomorrow and my thoughts are wandering this sultry Friday to Saturday and BREAKFAST! A perfectly crisp, perfectly eggy, perfectly divine POPOVER! It”s the only solution to start off the weekend! Maybe a popover with a little pesto in the batter ~ now there’s a good idea!
Nothing whispers “summer is on it’s way” quite like freshly made pesto. The dull, dreary days of winter are gone and the promise of long, hazy days hangs in the air! Five ingredients, 10 minutes and you can pretend it’s summer! Drizzle your pesto over sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, slather it on toasted ciabatta bread with slices of grilled eggplant, roasted peppers and provolone cheese or toss it with hot pasta.
Kitchen Princess Pesto – Ingredients
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Kitchen Princess Pesto – Method
- In a food processor combine the nuts, basil, cheese, garlic and salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped.
- With the machine running, add the oil in a thin stream until the pesto is smooth. Now, how easy is that?
- I like to make extra so I have some to freeze. I leave out the cheese though and add it after it has thawed. Pour your pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop the cubes out and place in a zip lock freezer bag. These are great to drop in soups or steaming pots of tomato sauce or thaw them and add to hot pasta or sauteed vegetables.
A note about pine nuts: These are available in grocery stores in tiny little jars for about $7-8. Costco has an 18 ounce bag for around $10-12. A HUGE savings! Just keep it in the freezer.
To toast pine nuts – Heat up a pan and throw your pine nuts in. Keep the nuts moving in the pan for a few minutes. They will get fragrant and golden. Watch them carefully as they can burn quickly.
- Now, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know I love variations. Try some other combinations of herbs and nuts. How about italian parsley and toasted walnuts, or cilantro and macadamia nuts or fresh mint and roasted almonds? Experiment, have fun and share your combinations – I”d love to hear about them!
As a child, one of my favorite weekend breakfast treats was a hot, steaming popover dripping with butter and jelly! Today, it seems like muffins and scones have taken over the universe. I love a good muffin (my blueberry muffins are to-die-for, a recipe I got from a bed and breakfast on my honeymoon in Cape Cod a million years ago) and scones, when done right with devonshire cream, strawberry jam and hot tea can be divine, but there is something so fun and festive about a popover.
If you’ve never had one, you really must give them a try! They only have 5 ingredients and take less than 10 minutes to make. I guarantee, your family will be delighted. They are light and airy, rich and eggy all at the same time. You can enjoy them sweet or savory by adding a little powdered sugar of grated cheese to the muffin tins. The big version is called Yorkshire Pudding and it’s traditionally served with Roast Beef. Very English, very wonderful!
My recipe is simple and comes from one of my go-to standard cookbooks, The Joy of Cooking.
Kitchen Princess Popovers – Ingredients
Yield-about 9 popovers
- Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees.
- Preheat oven to 450
Beat just until smooth:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Add one at a time but do not over beat:
- 2 beaten eggs
Kitchen Princess Popovers – Method
- Have ready buttered deep muffin or popover tins. I use a standard muffin pan.
- You can dust the cups with powdered sugar or grated parmesan cheese. This will give the batter something to cling to. The batter should be no heavier than whipping cream.
- Fill the buttered baking cups 3/4 full. Don’t overload – too much batter in the pans will give a muffin-like texture. Bake at once.
- After 15 minutes, lower the heat to 350 and bake about 20 minutes longer. To test for doneness, remove a popover to be sure the side walls are firm. If not cooked long enough, the popovers will collapse. You may want to insert a sharp paring knife gently into the other popovers to allow the steam to escape after baking. This ensures a crisp popover.
Now, imagine, a bowl of ripe strawberries, a platter of hot, steaming popovers, fresh raspberry jam, crisp bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice. Heavenly Saturday!