Green Food for Irish Snobs

Or at least pretending to be Irish for a day!

Neither Dot or Glitta is super Irish, although there's some bloodlines floating around in there and Glitta has an Irish Grandma, so the St. Patrick's Day menu isn't really traditionally Irish most years.

This year, we're just doing green colored foods and a legend-inspired treat.

For the entree, we're thinking a homemade pesto sauce with farfalle and grilled chicken.

If you haven't made pesto before, it's sooooo easy, and Dot LOVES it.

About 2 c. of basil
handful of parsley (just to make it extra green)
About 3/4 c. shredded Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
About 2/3 c. of olive oil
handful of pine nuts
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Also will need for dish:
1 lb. farfalle
grilled chicken
chopped tomatoes

Add basil, parsley and pine nuts to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times.  Then start adding oil in a drizzle while blending, using about 1/2 of the oil (just until it's mixing well).  Then add cheese and garlic and blend with more oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve fresh over cooked farfalle (a little pesto goes a long way) with grilled chicken.  I'll toss in a handful of arugula, some chopped tomatoes and feta with the pasta. 

This Snap Peas with Pancetta is one of my new faves! And because it is green we are including it in our St. Patty's Day Menu. Barefoot Contessa is always a winner for me and you really must try this salad it is so delish.

Snap Peas with Pancetta

1 tablespoon salt
1 pound sugar peas, trimmed
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

My notes -- Instead of blanching you can also steam the snap peas in the microwave on high power for about 6 minutes, then drain in a colander and immerse in ice water. I also served it warm, so I heated it again in the microwave for about 2 minutes before I added the vinaigrette and bacon. If you make the peas in advance and reheat, it loses it's bright green color but still tastes delicious!

Our next side dish comes via Martha from this month's Living magazine, its Herbed Garlic Bread.  It looks yummy and heaven knows we need more garlic and carbs another side dish in this meal!

Serves 4
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half horizontally
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop parsley and garlic in a food processor. Add butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and puree until smooth.
  2. Spread herbed butter on cut sides of bread, then place cut sides back together. Wrap in foil. Bake until bread is warm and butter melts, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.

And now, a totally irrelevant side, but fun, is a "pot of gold" or lemon jello jigglers pretending to be one! 

image via The Next Kid thing, apparently originally Family Fun

Now for a true taste of the Irish tradition (well maybe just a taste of one of Glitta's family's favorite frozen salad recipes). Since this is a recipe that has been passed down over the year's it does not come with a pretty little picture. But don't let that stop you from trying this tasty little bite.

Frozen Mint Salad   serves 16

1 29 oz can crushed pineapple, drain 1/2 of juice
1 3 oz package lime jello
1/2 bag mini marshmellows
1 C yellow box soft buttermints, crushed
1 carton of cool whip

Combine first 4 ing in a bowl. Stir and put in refrigerator until marshmellows dissolve. Fold in cool whip. Add a couple of drops of mint extract and green food coloring and stir well. Spoon into lined muffin tins. Place in freezer for several hours or overnight. Makes 16.

And now a dessert (preferably a few hours after that quite large dinner) of Mint Chocolate Chip Milk Shakes! 
with the secret ingredient: SPINACH
You can't even taste the spinach and I'm feeling pretty sure that 
this will be one of the only food items Dot's kids will willingly touch!

Now, you might not make all these recipes, (we might not make all these recipes, and we call ourselves the Holiday Snobs!) but at least throw some green food coloring in the milk for a bowl of cereal and have some fun!


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