Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Little Food Processor That Could

It’s Alex’s joke that I'm always promising to make something complex and exotic for dinner and when the time comes I just end up making grilled cheese. This has only actually happened on maybe two occasions, but that was enough to turn it into a running gag. So I braced myself for teasing when I told him my plan to make pulled pork had run afoul and grilled cheese was on the menu for the night. He was surprisingly okay with this change of entree.

“Can we have tomato soup too?”

Sold! I spent the rest of the day envisioning different cheese/bread/topping combinations that would elevate a regular grilled cheese into something a little more impressive. Finally I just gave up and googled “Smoked Mozzarella grilled cheese,” because we had some in the refrigerator, and who should appear in my search results but Tyler Florence.

He recommends homemade pesto on a smoked mozzarella grilled cheese. So later in the afternoon, I loaded up my shopping basket with basil, parsley and pine nuts.

Here’s a pretty good recipe for pesto, if you don’t already have one in your repertoire:

2 cups fresh basil
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Food processor it all.

I forget how small my food processor is. When I saw it gleaming on the shelf at Target with its fire-engine-red allure, I knew I had to bring it home. I knew it would eventually be too small, but I managed not to think about that. Besides, it’s so cute and red!

I managed to smoosh down the basil and parsley so I could get everything inside. I was fearful that I would end up with parmigiano and basil all over my kitchen. I shouldn’t have doubted. My little red beauty delivered.

Now I’m wondering why I didn’t rush out and buy some basil and pine nuts the first day I brought my food processor home. It’s kind of incredible how easy it is to throw together and how much it improves the taste of a smoked mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. That's saying a lot, since a grilled cheese sandwich really is one of the world's most perfect foods. Just ask Alex.


Lauren said...

Totally have that same food processor. It just barely makes a pie crust. Tiny, but mighty!

Allison Johnson said...

It is mighty!