Did you all have a super special sappy Valentine’s Day weekend with your super special people? I hope you did. And if you didn’t, I hope you had lots of fun indulging in chocolates and wine anyways because to me, Valentine’s Day is a little about love and romance but possibly even more about indulgence. Because in my life, there is never enough reason to indulge!!! Did you see the 18 million chocolate cakes I made on Friday?! Indulgence is key regardless of whether you feel happy or sad about Valentine’s Day. Indulge, indulge, indulge!
Mr. Carrot and I hiked and snow-shoed a ton this weekend so we didn’t have to feel so bad about all the indulging. We had a traditional fish fry on Friday night with several Old Fashioneds and tiny little eclairs covered in caramel sauce for dessert. I made heart-shaped pancakes and heart-shaped eggs with bacon for a very love-filled Valentine’s Day breakfast (the pancakes were cute; the eggs were a disaster…) and then hogged down so many chocolate covered caramels with sea salt throughout the day.
We made the most gigantic feast for Valentine’s Day dinner, attempting to be romantic, though really it just put us to sleep at 9:15. Baked ruby red trout over coconut rice with leek almond pesto slathered all over, roasted Brussels sprouts with leftover tahini sauce, our absolute favorite roasted fingerling potato salad and obviously chocolate chocolate cake for dessert!! We had even more food adventures on Sunday but I know I’m already making you drool so I’ll stop.
LEEK ALMOND PESTO
Adapted from Molly Yeh
We’ll call this a recipe but it’s so not. I just kinda winged it and it worked out. I’m confident you could do the same. These flavors just work together. Just follow my sorta kinda instructions and adjust the seasonings as you think appropriate.
Takes 20 minutes
Makes 1 cup
2 handfuls almonds
2-5 garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil (we’ll say somewhere in the range of 4-8 tablespoons), divided
1 large leek, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put almonds in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are roughly chopped. Add garlic and pulse until garlic and almonds are more finely chopped (you’ll do more pulsing and pureeing later so don’t get too concerned about uneven sizes).
Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened and fragrant but not browned.
Add sauteed leeks and onions to food processor. Add lemon juice, red pepper flakes and a good amount of salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in olive oil until mixture forms a semi-smooth puree. You can add a tablespoon of water right away if you are concerned about the pesto being too oily (I’m never concerned about that). I probably used 6 tablespoons oil total for this pesto. Adjust seasonings (garlic, lemon, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper) to taste. Slather over baked fish or chicken. Use as a sauce on pasta or pizza. Add to sandwiches. Spread on crackers or serve with a fancy cheese board. Store remainder in the fridge.