Saturday, June 28, 2008

Polenta with blue cheese and black beans; polenta lasagna; beet cake

Prepare this recipe for polenta squares with gorgonzola black beans, but substitute half the vegetable broth for red cooking wine, and use blue cheese since the grocer had a minimal cheese collection. If you are me, worry that the recipe won't make enough for four people, so double it, and end up with twice as much as you need.

Plate the polenta squares in the kitchen, and top with a simple light tomato sauce: just heat
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 large slicing tomato, washed and diced
  • fresh parsley, fresh basil, and a little salt.

Since you will have too much polenta, make the leftovers into polenta lasagna. Prepare the fillings, then make layers and cook until casserole is warm throughout:
  1. Polenta leftovers should press easily as a bottom layer and a top layer
  2. canned diced tomatoes, possibly warmed up, make a great layer by themselves
  3. spinach should be washed and sauteed with onions and mushrooms and summer squash — remember that spinach cooks down a lot
  4. ricotta cheese can be used as-is, or combined with grated parmesan.

The same night I made the polenta squares, my boyfriend made a "red velvet" beet cake. He followed this recipe, but didn't put in all the sugar, added some cocoa powder, and used three fresh beets (washed, peeled, chopped, boiled, and blended) in place of the canned beets. This, it turns out, is a lot of beet: I liked how vegetal the cake resulted, whereas he did not. For frosting, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

Homemade spinach pasta with smoked fish and peppers

Roughly following this recipe, bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed
for a minute or two. Drain, wash in cold water until cool, and mince. Combine spinach in a blender with
  • a little under 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Combine dry ingredients
  • 3.5 cup flour (I used 2.5 cup white flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, because that's what I had)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
and then knead wet into dry.

Dough really ought to sit out a little before you roll it out. But, anyway, roll out the dough in batches. You'll end up with about 1.5 lbs pasta — once it's rolled out and dried, it can be frozen for later use. As with most flour-based products, the more you let the dough sit, the easier it will be. So you should roll and cut the dough in long thin strips, and let it sit out an hour. Then you'll be able to stretch the dough again. We ended up with thick fettuccine.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, with a fair amount of olive oil added to the water, and cook the pasta just two minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan and lightly cook
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed and diced
  • 1/2 lb smoked halibut, diced
with some salt and pepper. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the serving bowl to warm the bowl; after dumping the water, layer the pasta with the heated oil and fish and peppers. Eat immediately.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fesenjan with tofu

Fesenjan is a traditional Persian dish made with walnuts and pomegranates, usually served with chicken or eggplant, and served over rice. Like the red sauces of Italy, there are as many fesenjan recipes as there are cooks. Fesenjan was one of the first recipes I put in my recipe book, and made a fantastic dinner last night. This recipe serves at least four.

For Persian-style rice, cook long-grain white rice in twice as much salted water uncovered ten minutes, then drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again. In a large saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp butter per cup of (dry) rice, add the rice, and stir to coat. Wrap a lid in a clean cloth and secure with a rubber band; cover saucepan, and steam rice 40-45 minutes on low until bottom is golden and crusty.

Of course, I prefer brown rice, cooked my usual way: bring rice to boil with 1.5-times as much salted water, and simmer covered until water has evaporated/been absorbed (about 20-30 minutes). Then leave covered, but remove from heat, and let the rice steam itself another 20 minutes at least; rice will holds its heat for upwards of an hour.

In any case, the fesenjan:

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, sauté until wilted and translucent
  • 1/4 cup oil (mix of olive and walnut)
  • 2 onions (we just got half a dozen small red onions in our vegetable box), sliced thin.
Of course, I ended up burning the onions, but not badly. Anyway, add
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • spices: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cardamom, 2 tsp pepper
After a minute or two, add
  • 3 cups walnuts, finely processed in a food processor or blender
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate concentrate
  • 3 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1 large Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2-1 pound frozen tofu, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp lemon (should be lime) juice.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook uncovered until foaming subsides and sauce darkens and thickens, about half an hour.

Apple, honey, and cheese tart

Here's a breakfast/dessert based on this recipe from the LA Times. It's as good as a newspaper recipe can be expected to be, which means I didn't follow it precisely. For example, they spend hours with the pie in the refrigerator. That's silly.

Preheat the oven 350°F. Prepare enough pie crust for the bottom of an 8-inch pie: combine
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 pinch salt
in a kitchenaid with the whisk, and then cut in
  • 1/2 stick butter, in pieces.
When butter has been incorporated, add
  • 3 Tbsp water
and roll out the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface.

Meanwhile, wash, core, and thinly slice
  • 2 large Pink Lady apples (mine are from market, harvested in November and kept on the farm in storage; they are still crisp and tasty)
and sauté in a Tbsp or two of butter until golden and starting to brown. Remove from heat. Also slice/crumble
  • 8 oz cheese.
What kind of cheese is a matter of taste and season. I used more of this hard sheep's cheese, but the recipe calls for a soft chèvre. In the winter I'd use a sharp cheese and add some cinnamon to the apples. If I were making this again this summer, I might use soft cheese, pears rather than apples when they come in in September, and perhaps a hint of lavender.

Anyway, layer the pie with cheese, apples, and
  • a healthy splash of honey
and bake twenty minutes. Allow to cool enough to slice; pie will be sticky from the melted honey.

Green pasta primavera

Begin boiling salted water for half a pound of farfalle. Cook the farfalle just eight to ten minutes. Meanwhile, heat a clean wok, and lightly toast a large handful of pine nuts. Remove pine nuts to a bowl, and heat some olive oil. Sauté one fresh white onion, sliced, and then add a bit over a pound summer squash, sliced into disks. When squash has started to tenderize and release liquid, add half a pound of mixed braising greens, and cover with wok lid to steam.

After greens have reduced, add the drained farfalle and one green pepper, seeds and stem removed and chopped into pieces. Stir a few times to warm, but leave pepper crisp. Remove from heat and add pine nuts and the leaves from half a bunch of basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Biscuits with pomegranate syrup and sheep's cheese

Breakfast this morning was amazing. I followed this recipe for Pomegranate Molasses and Sheep’s Cheese Biscuits pretty much on the nose, except I used about twice as much (1/2 cup grated) abbaye de belloc as the recipe calls for (1/4 cup grated). I ate with my boyfriend and my roommate; the three of us polished off the 16 biscuits and a bowl of cherries, and were completely satisfied.

The biscuits do not rise a lot — perhaps 50% — so you need not press them too flat. These are "southern" biscuits: lower butter-to-flour ratio than in, say, Joy of Cooking. Still, they are very rich, and the sheep's cheese adds a depth to the flavor without overwhelming the biscuits in cheesiness. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recipe attribution

Recipes, of course, can't be copyrighted (although the words can be). But PPK has an interesting discussion of recipe attribution and plagiarism.

Many of the recipes here are completely my own, although of course based on ideas from restaurants, cookbooks, and friends. When a dish is based closely on one or two recipes, I try to always cite where it's from; I will try even more in the future.

As for what my recipes are like, with the plagiarists of the world I find that I cannot say as well as someone else what I think. So I will quote yet again from the introduction to Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables:
Many preparations echo sister reipes in nearby chapters — family resemblances aboung in our repertory; by including fo many, we have tried to suggest a recurring haphazard serendipity in our cooking. As in a family photo album, there are recipes one might think of as formal portraits: lists of precisely quantified ingredients, and step-by-step instructions in the somewhat cliché-ridden conventions of most modern cookbooks — complete with what often seem, even to a beginner cook, like redundant and obvious details ("Preheat the oven to 400°F.," "Wash, dry, and shop the parsley fine," "Season to taste"). These are side be side with recipes that are more like out-of-focue snapshots: unquantified narrative descriptions that leave much to the imagination and intuition of the cook.

Of course, the paradox is that an out-of-focus snapshot can sometimes be a better, truer likeness than the most carefully posed and costumed studio photograph. In this collection, we have left quite a few short recipes in this kind of format, hoping that you will be encouraged to try them because of their loose form, refining them to your own satisfaction by dash and splash, tasting as you go, instead of measuring them out by teaspoons and quarter cupfuls.

Squash and tofu curry

We still have squash in storage, but after this dish we are down to just two delicatas. Slicing tomatoes have just come into market. My recipe is based on this one, but there are others.

In a wok, combine, mix well, and heat:
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 capful orange extract
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • salt
When sauce is simmering, add
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
and allow to steam covered while preparing other ingredients. Cook awhile. Add
  • 1 lb tofu, cubed, frozen, and defrosted (cube tofu when purchasing, and store in freezer; to defrost, bring to boil in water with soy sauce)
  • 1/2 bunch purple carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 1 bunch Red Russian kale, in thin slices
and allow ingredients to warm and soften. Mix with sauce. When squash is soft, add
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch basil leaves
. Mix everything together, and serve over rice.

  • The traditional Thai "pumpkin" curry is made with kabocha squash.
  • You might prefer your curry spicier, and perhaps with cilantro. Curry powder is completely foreign to Thai cuisine.
  • Orange juice and grated orange zest are good additions; subtract some lemon and the orange extract.
  • Yellow pepper and potatoes are tasty veggies. Use little tomatoes in place of the big one.
  • Try substituting 1/2 can garbanzo beans for the tofu.
  • Onion.

Slaw with mushrooms, peas, and carrots

The title says it all. For a tasty coleslaw, combine:
  • 1 small green cabbage, stem removed, sliced fine
  • 1 lb shelling peas, shelled (yields about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 bunch purple carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • Moscatel vinegar

Custard and Vegetable Pie

My boyfriend doesn't like quiche, and despite my best efforts, still wasn't a huge fan of this one. I thought it was amazing. I'll describe what I did, and how I will improve it next time.

Begin by making the pie dough for the crust. My pie recipe makes enough dough for a bottom and a top, but this is an open-faced pie, so I made twice as much dough as you should for one pie, planning on saving the second half for a later dish. Here's the doubled recipe:

Preheat the oven 425°F. In the standing mixer or food processor, combine:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
Slice into pieces and add to the flour
  • 1 stick cold butter
and set mixer on medium-high until butter has been fully cut into the flour (no chunks remain). Then add, one Tbsp at a time:
  • 10 Tbsp cold water (use 5-6 Tbsp for white-flour pie dough)
and mix until dough forms into a couple large balls.

Roll out half of dough on a lightly-floured surface into a large circle, and transfer to pie plate. Fill empty pie with half an inch of dried beans, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 425°F. Remove from oven, dump beans out into trash can, and in the process accidentally lose the pie crust. Curse quietly to yourself, and roll out the second half, thanking the heavens you made a double batch. This time, fold down the crust over the edges of the pie plate to fasten, and use more beans — last time, there weren't enough to keep the middle of the pie from bumping up. After removing beans more carefully this time, brush the bottom and sides of the still warm empty pie crust with
  • 1 egg yolk
to preserve crispness.

Turn oven down to 325°F. In the now clean mixing bowl, whisk together:
  • 1 egg white and 2 more eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1-2 oz morel mushrooms, finely diced
  • (1-2 oz abbaye de belloc or other cheese)
Actually, don't use any cream, or not much. The cream melts in the oven, preventing the custard from coming together, and makes the pie heavier. Instead, use two or three more eggs. I'm not a huge fan of cheese in my quiche, but my boyfriend insisted that ever quiche have cheese in it, and we had just bought some really good cheese for later recipes.

Beat the mixture to aerate. Quiches tend to be very dense; instead, aim for your custard pie to be more like a savory soufflé. Beat even until soft peaks.

Pour one third of mixture into empty pie crust. Layer pie with:
  • 1 10-inch green summer squash (zucchini), sliced
  • 3 oz brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch basil, stems discarded (or saved for soup stock)
Pour the rest of the filling over the vegetables.

Bake 20-30 minutes at 325°F, until pie just starts to firm up. Place on top of pie
  • 4 squash blossoms, arranged radially
and bake another ten minutes. Allow pie to cool ten minutes before slicing. Then cut into quarters, so that each piece has a flower on top.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hazelnut Squash Ravioli

Home-made ravioli takes a few hours, start to finish. It's very showy and very tasty. I had two winter squash still in storage, and hazelnuts from Oregon. If you do not have winter squash, wait: this really is a winter dish, although I served my ravioli with fresh peas (alternately, coat in browned butter with sautéed fresh sage). If you do not have hazelnuts, walnuts work too, or move to Oregon. This recipe serves four, but uncooked ravioli can also (I assume) be frozen.

Rinse, halve, remove seeds from, peel, and cube
  • 1 butternut squash
and place on a lightly-greased glass baking dish. Bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes, until squash is soft but not browned.

Meanwhile, make a pasta dough: combine in the kitchenaid with the paddle attachment
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
and mix well (proportions are not precise). Separate dough into two equal-sized pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough. Eggs do amazing things to flour, allowing it strength while still being pliable. This dough will roll pretty thin. You'll want to make two matching circles each about 2-3 feet (!) diameter. (Or, rather, 2-foot circles, and then when you make the pastas, you'll have scraps of dough, which you can roll out again for more pieces.)

Wash the kitchenaid, and use it to mix the filling:
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used one slice of whole wheat bread)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh herbs (thyme, sage)
  • 1 tsp orange extract or zest
  • (in winter: 2 pinch nutmeg, and perhaps 1 pinch clove)
  • salt and pepper.
In a small frying pan, cook a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup chapped hazelnuts
in a few tsp of a mix of
  • olive oil
  • walnut oil.
Add nuts to mixer. When squash is done, add that too, and mix and mash well.

When all is ready, spoon filling onto one sheet of pasta dough by Tbsp for large ravioli or by tsp for small ones, spaced accordingly. Sprinkle sheet liberally with water, and cover with other sheet, pressing down lightly between mounds. Cut raviolis with butter knife or fluted cutting wheel. Working one-by-one, press edges of raviolis together with the broad side of a chop stick, trying to squeeze out the air. Transfer raviolis to a floured bowl, and coat each ravioli with flour to prevent sticking. Cover top raviolis with flour: the raviolis will dry out a bit, which makes them easier to handle.

At this point, if you're serving just two, I would suggest freezing half the raviolis for a later dinner. Or plan on having leftovers.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Transfer raviolis one-by-one to the boiling water, dusting off the excess flour. Be especially careful with the first one, as it may stick to the bottom if it drops too quickly. Pasta should cook about three to five minutes.

  • 1/2 pint cream
  • fresh shelled peas, from 1 1/2 pounds of pods
but do not boil.

Drain pasta, as always, in a colander set in the serving dish to warm the bowl. Ravioli should be served in a large shallow ceramic serving dish. While ravioli waits impatiently in the colander, splash some of the warmed cream on the bottom of the (cleaned) dish, and then transfer a layer of pasta. More cream and peas, more pasta, etc., ending with a third to half the cream and peas poured generously over the top.

Upon reheating the leftovers, I liked my ravioli garnished with even more parmesan, but the first time it did not need it. The dish is very sweet and heavy; a light dry white wine pairs well, and airy sourdough bread with a spicy extra-virgin table oil. My boyfriend and I enjoyed this meal with candlelight.

Southern Italian Pasta

Bring salted water to a boil and cook for eight minutes (or until slightly underdone) When pasta is done, drain in a colander set in an attractive ceramic serving bowl in the sink (the boiling water will warm the serving bowl). Toss immediately with olive oil to prevent sticking. Meanwhile...

Open and drain or soak and boil some. Open but do not drain and chop and add to tomato juice to moisten
  • a handful dried tomatoes.
(I got my sun-dried tomatoes, and as always most of the veggies, from Farmers' Market.)

In a wok, sauté in olive oil
  • 6 baby artichokes, outer leaves removed (remove a lot), tips and black parts of stems slices off, and halved
  • 1 green torpedo onion, washed, peeled, and cut into large pieces so I can pick them out
until tender. Add and bring to a boil the canned tomatoes and beans, along with salt and pepper. Cook a while, until liquid starts to thicken (but this is a soupy dish).

Stir in to the hot liquid
  • 1 bunch beet greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
and let cook two to three minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the pasta, along with the leaves of
  • a few sprigs parsley, washed.
Transfer to the heated bowl, and serve immediately, garnished with


Here's an easy coleslaw, which I took to a potluck tonight.

Thinly slice a small head of green cabbage, and transfer to a large salad or mixing bowl. Wash, peel, and grate one bunch (raw) red beets, and add to salad. Wash and grate (but young carrots do not need peeling) half a bunch carrots, and add these as well. Sprinkle with generous doses of salt, moscatel vinegar, and a nice olive oil, and mix. Let sit refrigerated a few hours before serving, so the vegetables have a chance to soften in the acid.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is the first "fruit" to come in in the spring. Although the Farmers' Market here in Berkeley had very little rhubarb available, our market in Eugene was replete with gorgeous stalks, and I brought some back with me.

Rhubarb is delicious alone in a compote — combine on the stove with a hefty dose of sugar and a splash of water — served over vanilla ice cream, or as the only fruit in pies and cobblers. But its true purpose is to be combined with strawberries.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a food processor or standing mixer with the whisk attachment, cream
  • 1 stick butter
  • just shy of 2 cups all purpose flour
  • a large teaspoon of salt
until thoroughly combined. If using a standing mixer, scrape down sides. Then add
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp cold tap water
and mix until dough comes together into a single ball. Separate dough into two roughly equal sized portions, wrap in plastic, and let sit while you prepare the filling.

In a large bowl, combine
  • 1 stalk rhubarb, rinsed and diced
  • 1 basket strawberries, rinsed and chopped, with greens removed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • quite a lot of corn starch and flour
The sugar-with-fruits will release a lot of liquid.

Roll out the larger of the two balls of dough for the base of your pie: use a well-floured surface and a well-floured rolling pin (I like to keep a pile of flour next to my dough, to be constantly reflouring the pin). By folding in half, transfer to pie plate: the dough should be big enough that it hangs over the edge on all sides.

Fill pie with filling. Dot the top of the pie with butter.

Roll out the second half of the dough. My family traditionally rolls out the top and covers the pie — if you do this, be sure to poke many holes in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape in the oven. I occasionally construct lattice tops. For these, roll dough into an oblong, a little longer than the pie. Starting from the middle, slice thin strips of dough, and assemble the top. Many people have favorite ways of doing this. I start with the longest strip down the middle of the pie (say NS), and place the next longest strip perpendicular (EW) to it on the other middle. Then I do the two strips running NS next to the first one. For the next two (running EW, on either side of the second strip), you have to lift up the middle strip. Keep moving out, placing two strips NS, then two EW, etc.

At the end, use a fork to press top and bottom along the rim, perforating the edge, and with a sharp knife slice off dough hanging out of the pan. I usually skip this part, but for a well-browned crust, brush on an egg wash (one egg mixed with a Tbsp or two of milk).

Bake 10 minutes at 450°F. Then turn down oven to 350°F and bake another 30-35 minutes.

This is a very buttery but not particularly flaky crust. Refrigerate the dough before rolling out to make it easier to work. Vodka, incidentally, is half alcohol, which does not glutenize: for a flakier crust that's still really easy to roll out, use 4 Tbsp water and 4 Tbsp vodka, but be sure to use high-end expensive vodka with no flavors. Or make chocolate-pecan-bourbon pie, and use bourbon in the crust.

Or you can make your crust like pastry dough. Use some of the butter, all the flour, and very cold water. Melt the rest of the butter in the microwave or in the double boiler. Roll out the dough, and brush with butter. Fold in half, roll out again, and brush with more butter. Repeat a number of times. If flour starts to resist, let it relax in the refrigerator.

I like my pie filling to be very sour: 1 cup sugar is about the upper limit for me, and if I'm making apple pie I use very little sugar and some lemon juice. Berry pies I tend to just not put much sugar in.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

My roommate is on a low-iodine diet for the next few weeks. It turns out that "low iodine" means, among other things, vegan: egg yolks and all dairy are out. But so are soy (all soy products are out except soy oil and lecithin), most beans, all sea foods (including sea salt), potato skins, and rhubarb.

Since she isn't feeling well, and most desserts are out, cookies seem in order.

Preheat oven 350°. In order, combine in the standing mixer with paddle on low:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp non-iodized salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
Roll out by tablespoons, and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 15 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan: cookies will fall apart easily.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Last dinner in Oregon

My last dinner before returning to Berkeley started, as many dinners do, with a morning trip to Farmers' Market. Oregon is a month behind California with respect to vegetables: we ended up with rhubarb (for bringing back to Berkeley; for whatever reason, the market there never had much), rainbow chard, very small red beets, carrots, green onion, and basil. Add to this wheat berry, feta, chevre, and garden oregano, and we get two fantastic dishes. Both are nice combinations and brilliantly colored, and could sit happily next to each other in the salad display case at a gourmet deli. (A high-end restaurant could make the wheat berry as described, garnished with a sprig of oregano. The salad would be composed on individual plates.)

Wheat Berry, Greek-Inspired
Set salted water and two cups wheat berry boiling. We started with two cups water, then added another two later, and then a little more. Sauté diced green onion, and stir into the wheat berry. While wheat berry cooks, prep remaining ingredients.

After about an hour, stir in one head chopped rainbow chard, and allow to cook two minutes. Remove from heat and add cubed feta, fresh oregano (we have two large oregano bushes: a plain oregano, and a very spicy "Greek" oregano), olive oil, and just a touch of lemon juice. Serve warm.

Salad with beets, carrots, basil, and chevre
Our beets were roughly one-inch diameter. If yours are larger, slice them. Wash and peel one bunch beets, reserving stems and greens. Cover beets with water, and bring to boil. After three to five minutes, beets should be just tender enough that you can get a fork in with some effort. Add washed and chopped stems and greens, cover, and let cook three more minutes. Drain in colander and rinse in cold water.

In a salad bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Add cooked beets, and mix. Then add, mixing each time, one bunch carrots, washed and chopped (young carrots do not need peeling); half a bag of basil, washed and with stems removed, but leave leaves whole; and four ounces chevre. Serve cool.