Ferdinand was worried that he might not pass kindergarten. I told him not to stress–that when I was a kid, all we had to pass was no hitting, no biting, use the facilities, and if you were really smart you could say the alphabet and count to 20 by the time you left. He laughed at me. And then he said, “Mom, I’m serious.”
Along with reviewing Ferdinand’s first report card with his kindergarten teacher–math, reading, writing, science, technology, history and social skills–all of which he did pretty well in, we learned Ferdinand had convinced his teacher that he is a vegetarian. She said, “are your mom and dad vegetarians?” He said, “no, they’re vegans.”
Not true, but I am impressed with his ability to sway his audience.
In appreciation of the art of imagination I give you a lovely vegetarian selection:
Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and String Beans
If you leave out the cheese, you can call it vegan.
For the pesto, in your mortar and pestle or food processer, combine 3 cups of fresh and unblemished basil leaves, 1 clove of garlic, the best olive oil you can find, a little salt, 1 cup of grated parmesan (that you have grated yourself), and handful of pignoli (or not if the price is killing you.) For the mortar, smash all the ingredients and add the olive oil a drop at a time until you have an emulsion, and then in a steady stream. For the food processor, get everything in there but the oil, and then the same–drip it in and then once you have an emulsion (like mayonnaise) you can go for a slow and steady stream. Taste it.
Peel and cube some yukon golds. (only 1 or 2 medium for 9 ounces of pasta) Add them to cold salted water that has a good drizzle of olive oil added. Take them out when they are just tender. Add string beans, whole, with just the stem end removed. Simmer, covered, til tender.
Boil the pasta, and when al dente, remove immediately, saving a few spoons of the pasta’s cooking water in a cup. Immediately toss everything together–using maybe 1/2 a cup of more of your pesto. Season the pasta with salt, add a tiny dash of your pasta water or even a spoon of heavy cream to smooth it out, and serve with extra parmesan.