From my RV kitchen
For several years now I've enjoyed a terrific friendship with the Packard's - Randy and Denise - owners of Pine Acres Family Camping Resort in Oakham, MA. When their park's 50th anniversary came around they invited me up to help celebrate and graciously agreed to do an RV Cooking Show with me. Turns out that just minutes away from their camp is Linabella's Gourmet Garlic Farm - family owned and operated by the delightful Howard family - Michelle, Jeff...and their two young daughters - one playing a supporting role in this episode :> (The girls make all-natural doggie biscuits to sell at the farmers markets they attend!).
Michelle told us she's heard local folks say they drive the very short distance to spend a few days at Pine Acres! But there's plenty more to do in the area, too. Old Sturbridge Village is nearby and with the price of admission you can visit a second day within a 10-day period. Any guests of second-day visitors receive a 25% discount on their admission as well.
Treat yourself to an amazing bakery experience at Rose32 in Gilbertville - sandwiches, pastries, espresso...heaven! Worcester, with its neat neighborhoods, many museums, and its fun festivals is just a short drive away. There's a lot more in the beautiful Central Massachusetts area - if you can pull yourself away from the resort, that is!
After a visit to Linabella's Denise and I made a really tasty white bean pesto dip. It's so easy...watch how we make it in this episode of the RV Cooking Show then try it yourself!
Here you'll find two recipes - one for the white bean pesto dip and one for pesto. Enjoy!
White Bean Pesto Dip
2 cans cannellini beans (white kidney) drained and rinsed
1 large lemon – juiced
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c pesto
Finely minced garlic – to taste (optional)
The wonderful thing about pesto is it’s so easy to make…almost anything goes. You LOVE basil? Add a bit extra. Try arugula or an arugula/basil mix. Garlic your thing…go for it! Pine nuts (pignolis) not available or a bit spendy? Use walnuts instead. If you have an abundance of basil in your garden, are not able to get some Linabella’s Pesto or want to try a homemade batch here’s a great recipe.
2-3 cloves of garlic
¼ c pine nuts
2 c firmly packed basil – washed and dried
Kosher salt to taste
1/3 – ½ c extra virgin olive oil
½ c fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese (maybe more)
White Bean Pesto Dip
In a large bowl, puree the beans. Continue to blend in the lemon juice then the olive oil then the pesto. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. If you love garlic feel free to add a finely minced clove or two.
Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables and pita chips, as a platform under shrimp scampi or pork tenderloin or as a sandwich spread. You might even be tempted to simply eat it out of the bowl with a spoon!
Using a blender or food processor, add the garlic and nuts and process until chunky. Add basil and a pinch of salt. Pulse a couple times then begin adding the oil. Process until you have a nice chunky mixture. You don’t want it too pureed – a little bit of chunk is my way. Add the cheese. Taste and adjust as desired.
Pesto freezes wonderfully and you can do it a couple different ways. My friend Kathy freezes single meal servings in small plastic “Glad” containers and pulls one out when needed. Linabella’s freezes one larger container and suggests you keep frozen until ready to use, defrost slightly, use what you need, and refreeze. Either way, oxygen will oxidize the top layer turning it a bit brown. That’s normal and does not affect the taste at all. You might place a small piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pesto to alleviate any browning.
Experiment at will. Make your own signature pesto sauce. Not sure what to use it in (besides the fabulous white bean pesto dip)? Visit Linabella’s Gourmet Garlic Farm website for some terrific ideas straight from Michelle and Jeff’s pesto kitchen.
I also took home one of those unique sweet and savory pestos - the maple pesto. I'm going to use it a few different ways and I'll blog about it...stay tuned! Ciao!
Direct from my RV kitchen - part cooking class on wheels, part RV travel guide - these RV videos cook! Discover more RV destinations and camping recipes on the RV Cooking Show website.
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