Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deviled Eggs with Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto

I was really excited to hear that our 37 Cooks would be reviewing cookbooks periodically. I was even more excited when I was able to be one of the five chosen to review Fresh From the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories. Last year, my husband and I began growing our own herbs in a counter-high raised bed. This year we have added a second for vegetables like tomatoes, and plans are already in the works for a third. Once you start enjoying your own home-grown herbs and vegetables, you will want more and more.

The author, Sue Middleton, chronicles her and her husband's journey as they acquire a quaint old farmhouse and acreage on Martha's Vineyard. Each page includes an interesting story and a great healthy recipe that she has developed. You don't have to be living on a farm or running a farmstand to enjoy this book. As a gal born and raised in a big city, I enjoyed the Middleton's adventure in making the farmhouse their home and in starting a garden from tiny seedlings in the midst of a cold winter.

The book is divided into four chapters, Late Spring/Early Summer, High Summer, Indian Summer and Early Fall. Living way down South on the Gulf Coast, our seasons are different and I can actually start reaping the benefits of farm fresh ingredients in Early Spring. I feel most of the recipes include ingredients that are easily found or grown in my region. However, there are some that will require a little more searching and Ms. Middleton is very good about suggesting alternatives, realizing that some ingredients might not be as accessible in all regions.

I have marked so many recipes and there are so many that I would like to cook and share with you, but since I can only share one, why not use the very first one from the very first chapter!
I loved this recipe, as did my family! I hope you will enjoy it too.

Deviled Eggs with Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto
by Linda
adapted from Fresh from the Farm, A Year of Recipes and Stories by Sue Middleton, Chapter 1, Page 6

6 hardcooked eggs, peeled and halved length-wise
3 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto* (recipe below)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
12 tiny basil leaves, for garnish
12 whole toasted pine nuts, for garnish

1. Gently scoop cooked egg yolk out of each egg and place in large bowl. Place the egg white halves on serving plate.

2. Combine yolks, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and pesto in large bowl.

3. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of the fresh pepper.

4. Using a fork or spatula, begin mashing the yolks, combining them with the other ingredients. (You want a smooth texture that will be light green.)

5. Using a spoon, divide the mixture into the egg white halves.

6. Garnish with basil leaves, toasted pine nuts and another small turn of fresh ground pepper.

*The original recipe called for 1 1/2 teaspoons of Pesto. I used 2 teaspoons of Pesto. I would recommend adding 1 1/2 teaspoons, taste it and add additional to your own taste.

Spinach, Basil and Toasted Pine Nut Pesto:
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, stemmed, washed and dried
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, stemmed, washed and dried
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Place the garlic, spinach, basil, pine nuts and 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in food processor. Process until finely chopped and combined, scraping the sides down as needed.

2. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of pepper into mixture. Process again, until well combined. Scrape down the sides, again, as needed.

3. With food processor going, slowly stream the remaining olive oil into the mixture through the small opening on the top. The pesto should have a smooth consistency, but not runny.

4. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Cooking Tips: She has an excellent tip for boiling the eggs, but you are going to have to buy the book to get that. There are many good tips, sprinkled throughout the book.


  1. Enjoyed your review and now I want this book too.

  2. Thanks Joan. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have ~ Linda @ 37