I want to be happy, but I’m also always just a little suspicious of it. Just…it seems that so many times lately I’ve been all “I am confidently happy about this particular thing in my life and it is good and wonderful” and then it all immediately falls apart, as if I broke a spell simply by acknowledging it. This is also a suuuper immature way of looking at things because you have to enjoy life and there are always a ton of factors that could make something nice fall to pieces and if you look for patterns you’ll find them and so on. In my defense, I am very immature. Also I guess what I’m describing here is the phrase “pride goes before a fall” but I hate that phrase, like, are we supposed to not take pride in good things? As the queen Cordelia Chase says in Buffy when told she has no shame, “…like shame is something to be proud of?”
So I’ll say it carefully but definitely (am almost tempted to make the font three sizes smaller as if that would make the universe not notice it) thus far, I really love my new job. It’s so fun. I love being charming with lots of people and meeting all the nice staff and making fancy cocktails with increasing competency and damn, there’s even a weird satisfaction to be had from clearing a ton of dishes. Now that I’ve said something nice about washing dishes it’s definitely going to fall apart (okay, admittedly closing up the bar is a bit of a nightmare but even that I’m getting the hang of), but till then: yeah, me!
Now that I’m doing so many late nights (got out at 2.30am on Saturday night, wheeeee) I need to make myself food that can be hoofed down in a hurry on my short break, that will give me energy but also be delicious enough that it makes me happy, stores easily, is filling but without making me immediately fall asleep afterwards…I have no idea if this pasta salad really fulfils any of those ideals because I just liked the thought of it and so decided to make it, but it is seriously delicious. Of course, most anything might seem seriously delicious at 10pm after being on your feet for ages. But trust me. As if I would put a less-than-dazzlingly-spectacular recipe on this blog for you.
pasta salad with broccoli-pumpkin seed pesto, feta, mint and olive oil
oh yeah so it’s not even pesto, it’s just munched up broccoli and pumpkin seeds, but what, you want to make a recipe called ‘broccoli paste’? Nope, pesto it is.
a recipe by myself
two heads of broccoli
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
100g short pasta like penne, bow ties, rigatoni, that kinda thing
50g feta (or as much as you want)
a handful of mint leaves
Chop the broccoli into small florets. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the broccoli in it – stirring a bit, you just want to soften it a little and lose that total rawness, you know? However if it gets a little browned in places that’s great too. Tip the broccoli into a food processor, and then briefly toast the pumpkin seeds in the same pan till fragrant and browned slightly. Add them to the food processor too with a pinch of salt, and blitz the heck out of it, scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally. Continue to process as you pour in olive oil – as much as you like, I probably used about three or four tablespoons. You’ll end up with a kind of nubbly, rubbly green substance which you can then spatula into a container and put in the fridge till you need it next.
To make the pasta salad – cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions (although cooking it in boiling salted water is all there is to it, really) and then drain it under cold water for a little bit, just to take the immediate heat off. Mix together with two tablespoons – or much more – of the broccoli pumpkin seed pesto, the crumbled feta, and the mint leaves, and then drizzle over some more olive oil.
Bursts of sharp, creamy feta and sweet, icy mint; life-giving carbs and rich pesto – it’s brilliant stuff to inhale during a brief sit (who doesn’t enjoy a good sit?) but also obviously you can eat this any day, any time, and on a proper plate instead of an old take-out container. The broccoli, pumpkin seeds and olive oil are brilliantly complementary, all the nutty, oily, grassy flavours being smashed together in the food processor. Now that I look at them, “grassy” and “oily” aren’t necessarily the most appealing words but they are the most accurate ones I could find in my tired brain today. It is filling but light and keeps for a while in the fridge but honestly the most defining feature of this pasta salad is that it will get green stuff stuck in your teeth in a major way, so totally clean your teeth afterwards if you have to talk to people and sell them consumable items.
Use the leftover pesto in more pasta salad if you like, or…use it wherever else you might use pesto, I guess. It isn’t as liquid as the pesto you buy from the supermarket but it would be terrific stirred through couscous or added to a salad dressing or, you know, whatever.
Kate Nash, She Rules. This song is so sweet and simple and scrappy and I love it.
City Oh Sigh, My Love Has Gone. It’s…just…too dreamy, I guess.
Pixies, Where Is My Mind. This song stays amazing.
next time: freezing though it is, I’ve been craving ice cream…