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roasted yam (sweet potato) fries

July 3, 2014

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did you know that most grocery stores label yams and sweet potatoes incorrectly? most of the time you think you are buying a sweet potato – those beautiful orange flesh colored, brownish/purple skinned potatoes – you are actually buying a yam. sweet potatoes are more yellow in color actually and are usually labeled as yams… go figure, yet another thing to confuse you at the grocery store!
 

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whether you end up using yams (which is what is pictured here), or sweet potatoes, this recipe is super simple, and paired with my roasted tomatillo & jalapeno salsa verde, is a sweet and spicy side that is sure to please everyone! yams and sweet potatoes are also a veggie that is higher in protein, which makes it a great addition to any healthy dietary lifestyle, especially for vegans and vegetarians.
 

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tomas and i had grilled pork chops along with these gorgeous yam fries, but you could pair it with whatever your heart desires!
 

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ingredients

1 large yam (or sweet potato)
olive oil
s&P
1 roasted tomatillo & jalapeno salsa verde recipe

procedure

preheat your oven to 425 F. while the oven is preheating, cut the yam (skin on) into approximately 3-4inch long and 1/2 inch wide fries. place the fries on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing once half way through cooking.

prepare salsa verde while potatoes are cooking.

to serve you can either place fries on top of the salsa verde, drench the fries in the salsa verde, or serve it on the side for a dipping sauce – whatever tickles you! enjoy!

a new twist on an old classic

June 9, 2014

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hi everyone!  i can’t believe it’s been almost a year since i last posted something here!  ever since graduation, life has been… in a word, hectic.  aside from working life being crazy busy, there have been several other new developments in the 3blondes & a tomas world.  the first big change, which will be arriving in just a few short weeks now, is a new addition to the family – our first baby girl, knick-named “teeny speeny”, is due to arrive on 7/11/14 (a little convenience store, slurpie baby with that due date!)!!  we could not be more excited for this new chapter and can’t wait to share more news on her impending arrival!  the second huge change has been buying a house and decided to completely the gut the kitchen and add two bathrooms… did i mention we just bought the house in march and began renovations at that time?!  i think that sheer fact alone solidifies that we’re a little nutso!

i can’t wait to start taking photos in the new kitchen though and sharing a bunch of new recipes with you all once again!  it has turned out even better than i had hoped for and i have been so excited to start cooking again – especially after living with just a hot plate, toaster, microwave, and college sized fridge for a few months while in my third trimester… all i want to do is bake people!

now that the kitchen is usable and close to being done, i finally got around to whipping something delicious up for all of you, whom i have severely neglected for the past almost year!  this recipe is a lighter, more colorful twist on the old potato salad classic.  you could even add some meat (i would go the tuna or sausage route), throw some cheese on (feta or parmesan would be yummy), or other veggies to your delight (cherry tomatoes anyone?), but i wanted to keep things simple for this one and let the asparagus and corn shine through.

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ingredients
3 lbs fingerling potatoes
3 ears sweet corn, remove kernals from husks before cooking
2 bunches asparagus, slices on a bias
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
zest & juice of 2 limes
1 t red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

procedure
place the potatoes into a medium sized pot and cover by 1″ with water. bring pot to a boil and then turn down to simmer until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

while the potatoes are cooking, saute the asparagus and corn in the butter and 1 T olive oil until the asparagus is bright green and cooked through. salt & pepper to taste.

when the potatoes are done, drain the water, drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper, toss, then cover the pot with a towel and allow them to steam for 10 minutes. after they steam, cut each down the center and return to the pot. add in the aspargus & corn, along with the lime juice/zest, herbs, and remaining olive oil and toss to incorporate. salt & pepper to taste and enjoy warm, room temp, or cool – whatever your heart desires!

summer time frittata

July 16, 2013

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i don’t know if i’ve said this before, but i LOVE one-pot meals.  it’s kind of funny actually – as a kid i didn’t like any of my food to touch on my plate and i ate one food at a time.  i am was pretty particular.  tomas and i drove out to lake wenatchee this past weekend with the boys for a little adventure (it’s amazing having a life now that i’ve graduated and entered the work force!!) – on the way home we stopped at a road side farmers market and bought some incredibly yummy eggs!  when i got home i decided to whip a summer time creation with fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh pasta and these beautiful eggs!

 

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this recipe is a bit out of the ordinary because of the pasta element.  the great part about it, it’s a great recipe to make when you have left over spaghetti!  the addition of the pasta really makes it a nutritionally full meal you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  the other great aspect of this recipe is its versatility – you really can pick and choose the ingredients you put into depending on what you have in your fridge at the time!  just put them all into one large pan and throw it in the oven et voila, a delicious nutritious meal!  fresh food fast – my favorite kind!

 

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8 fresh eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup diced sweet onion

2 cups halved small heirloom tomatoes

2 cups fresh arugula

1 cup sliced fresh zucchini

3/4 cup diced oaxaca cheese (or mozzarella)

2 cups pasta with tomato sauce

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/8 cup chopped fresh oregano

1 T salt

1 T black pepper

 

preheat oven to 350 F.

whip eggs and milk.  add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  pour mixture into a 12″ cast iron skillet and bake for 35-45 minutes (until eggs are cooked through).  eat cold, room temp, or heated.

parmesan & fennel quinoa with a roasted portobello

June 9, 2013

hiiiiii!!!  i feel as if i have been neglecting you all lately – i am honestly not even sure when my last post went out!  i am two meagre weeks away from completing graduate school and between school and work, i have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off (pardon the expression!).  along with this post, i am hoping to get one more out before graduation because the day after graduation we are going to ireland for a week to celebrate!!!!  can i just say i am BEYOND excited for this trip?!  if anyone has any recommendations for sites to see or food to eat please send them my way 🙂

 

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now that i have brought you up to speed, let’s get down to why you all come here anyway – the food!  i have been trying to get tomas to eat quinoa for quite awhile, and while he doesn’t outright refuse it (like brown rice for example), it’s not the easiest thing to get him to eat either.  enter classmate with fabulous advice – “have you tried red quinoa?  it has a better texture and is more flavorful than golden quinoa.”  come to think of it, i had not in fact tried red quinoa so a couple of weeks ago i bought some and made one of my favorite recipes that i used to make with israeli cous cous (i will post that particular recipe this summer) and wow was she right!

 

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red quinoa is larger in size, doesn’t get as mushy as golden quinoa, is more pearlescent and has a far better texture than its golden counterpart… i was sold in one measly bite!  as for tomas you ask?  he was sneaking it all week – SCORE!!!  so tonight i thought i would make some more to have for lunch or dinner during the upcoming week and decided to make it instead of risotto, but with the same flavors, serve it over spinach, and top it with a roasted portobello mushroom… i must say, i hit the flavor trifecta with this one!  i can’t wait for tomas to try it!  i know a lot of people are intimidated by quinoa, but this cooks exactly like rice and can take on endless flavor profiles so play around with it and find your favorite combination!

 

serves 8

1 T olive oil

3 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel

2 cups raw red quinoa

1/2 cup white wine

1.5 cups water

1 package basil, chopped

2 T garlic butter (i use kerry gold)

1 T olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1.5 lemons

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 portobello mushrooms

 

preheat oven to 450 F.

saute garlic and fennel in olive oil until the fennel is soft.  add in the quinoa and stir well – allow the quinoa to toast for 1 minute.  add in the wine and water and bring the liquid to a boil on high heat.  when boiling, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot for 25-30 minutes.  when the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, fluff it with a fork and put the lid back on for another five minutes to allow it to steam.

while the quinoa is cooking, pop the stems off the mushrooms, then brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  place them curved side down in a baking dish and set aside until the quinoa is done.  while the quinoa steaming, place the mushrooms in the oven for 10 minutes.

toss the quinoa with the remaining ingredients and serve over your favorite type of green and one mushroom per plate.  enjoy!

swiss chard & fried egg salad

March 26, 2013

 

 

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a few weeks ago we had a few friends in town and of course took them to our fav place in ballard, the walrus and the carpenter. that night there was a new swiss chard salad on the menu with pine nuts, a lemon vinaigrette and topped with a fried egg… for me it was love at first bite! since that night, I have made this salad several times for myself for lunch and am completely obsessed with its simplicity and yummiest that I had to share it with you all!

 

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This recipe isn’t particularly exact because I normally just toss it together…

chiffonade 2-3 big leaves of chard, depending on how big you want the salad to be.
for the vinaigrette, whisk together about 1 T olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 capful apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
toss the chard with the vin and a small handful each (about 1/4 cup) sunflower seeds and grated parmesan.
plate the chard and top with 1 or 2 fried eggs.
promptly devour!

homemade nutella frozen yogurt for the 100th post!!!

March 22, 2013

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HAPPY 100TH POST!!!  i can’t believe this is the 100th post, it seems like i just started writing a few months ago.  i just wanted to take a minute and thank you all for your continued support and for those newbies who are just joining in the fun here at three blondes and a tomas!  this blog (even though i’m not always on top of getting posts written) has kept me sane during the rollar coaster called grad school.  i have had such an amazing time coming up with recipes for you all, exploring new foods and continuing to grow as a chef, something i was afraid was not going to happen since i am no longer working in a kitchen everyday.  to celebrate this milestone, let’s celebrate with a little homemade nutella frozen yogurt, and thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement!!

as you all know, i am a nutella lover, through and through – this has been demonstrated through many posts already.  today’s post is yet another ode to my nutella love – homemade nutella frozen yogurt!  i have a bit of a sweet tooth, which i try to ignore most days, but sometimes my inner sweet tooth fairy is just too loud for my to ignore!  on those days i usually end up going to either cookies or ice cream.  this frozen yogurt is me trying to create a healthier option for myself, without having something that is loaded with a bunch of chemicals and preservatives 😉

 

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this frozen yogurt was crazy easy to make – i didn’t even use an ice cream maker because i couldn’t find my ice cream bowl attachment for my kitchen aid so i had to wing it.  i literally threw the ingredients into a bowl, whisked them together and put the whole bowl into the freezer overnight, et voila, tangy, sweet frozen yogurt!

the beauty of this recipe is its simplicity – you could really make it any flavor your little heart desires by changing up a few ingredients.  you could leave out the nutella (gasp!!!), and put in 2 T lemon juice for a tart and tangy mixture, vanilla beans for a simpler take, or even mash some fruit up and mix it all together, the options are endless!

 

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24oz container Greek yogurt (mine was honey flavored, but you could use plain as well)

1/4 cup sugar

1 T vanilla extract

2 T nutella

1/4 t salt

whisk all ingredients together until smooth.  place in a small metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  put in the freezer overnight to allow the mixture to set completely and enjoy!

gluten free crispy fried chicken

March 15, 2013

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for those of you who read last week’s post – shredded brussels sprouts coleslaw – i’m sure you have been anxiously awaiting this fried chicken post i promised!  i just have to say again… the fried chicken i had while we were in scottsdale was out of this world good!!  no one would have EVER known it was gluten free – it was light, crispy and not too greasy!  i’m sure my family is reading this going, “but sara doesn’t like fried chicken (aka, shake and bake)”… well family, this stuff rocks!!!

thankfully i asked our server that fateful night what flour was used for the breading, to which she told me, rice flour.  tomas has been begging me to make fried chicken for years now and i never have because i don’t really  have much experience number one, and number two, like my family said, i’m just not a huge fan.  after scottsdale that all changed so when i told tomas i wanted to make fried chicken this past weekend he simply smiled and gave me a high five!

 

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the next test was actually making the fried chicken, something i’ve never really tackled.  i did some research to find the best methods (i already knew buttermilk was a must) and set out on my mission.  tomas was shocked when i came home with a tub of vegetable shortening (non-hydrogenated of course) and said that if bastyr knew i had bought that, they would kick me out 😉  my response was that while i am a nutrition student, the blog is not a nutrition blog, it’s a food blog, and sometimes food isn’t always healthy – you have to have a balance in life!

i was completely nervous that i was going to royally mess the chicken up, but thankfully tomas and our friends, amanda and pablo, were there to cheer me on!  after a few hours sitting in buttermilk, i prepped the chicken and set out to frying… the result, i must say for my first attempt, was finger lickin’ delicious that we served with yucca and the brussels sprouts slaw!  tomas of course had a few critiques for the next round because the boy can not eat something and not put his two cents in (love you babe!), but overall, i’d give this fried chicken an 8/10!!

 

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serves 8

4 chicken breasts, skin on

2 chicken thighs, skin on

6 chicken drumsticks, skin on

1 pint buttermilk

1 T honey

6 dashes chahula sauce (or tobasco)

6 cups white rice flour

1 T paprika

1 T garlic powder

1/2 T onion powder

1/2 T salt

1/2 T ground pepper

3-4 cups vegetable shortening, non-hydrogenated (the amount will depend on the size of your pan)

 

whisk together the buttermilk, honey and hot sauce.  put all the chicken into a large plastic bag that you can close once everything is in there (i used the plastic bags the butcher had put the chicken in).  pour the buttermilk mixture into the bag and close the bag.  set it into a large bowl (to prevent spills) and place the whole bowl into the fridge for at least four hours (overnight would be even better if you have the time).

while the chicken is in the fridge, you can toss together the breading mixture.  whisk together the rice flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a 9 x 13 baking dish (the shallowness of the baking dish will make it easier to coat the chicken in the breading later).

since the chicken will still be in the fridge at this point, you can get your breading station ready as well… place two cookie sheets under wire racks next to your 9×13 baking dish.

when the chicken/buttermilk mixture has been in the oven for at least 4 hours, take it out and place the chicken and buttermilk into separate bowls (DO NOT THROW OUT THE BUTTERMILK!!!!).  toss a few pieces of the chicken into the flour mixture at a time, making sure to cover all sides of the chicken thoroughly.  dip each piece back into the buttermilk mixture, again making sure to cover all sides of the chicken.  coat the chicken one last time in the flour mixture, shake off the excess and place on the wire racks and allow to sit for 30 minutes before frying.

when all the chicken is breaded, place the shortening into a large cast iron skillet with high sides and turn the heat to medium.  allow the oil to come up to 325 F, then fry each piece for a total of 20 minutes (10 minutes each side).  place the finished product on paper towel lined baking sheets to soak up the excess oil.  serve warm and chow down!

shredded brussels sprouts “coleslaw”

March 10, 2013

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about a month ago i went to arizona with tomas for a weekend when he had to go down to work… i was trying to escape cloudy seattle and get a healthy dose of vitamin D, but alas, it ended up being cloudy and rainy for the most part in arizona that weekend 😦  we still had an awesome time in scottsdale eating at many fabulous restaurants and taking a beautiful hike on the one sunny morning.

 

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one of the restaurants we went to the first night had several gluten free options… one of which was fried chicken and waffles.  OH. MY. GAWD!  this dish was nothing short of amazing – much to his dismay, i wouldn’t let tomas touch it!  i ended up trying to recreate the fried chicken last night for a few friends (post to come next week), and for one of the sides i decided to make an unconventional ‘coleslaw’ salad from shredded brussels sprouts!

 

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the flavor of the this dish was so yummy, and the texture of the sprouts after sitting in a vinaigrette for a few hours was perfect – not too chewy, not to slimy!  the dried cranberries and red onion lent a beautiful, rich color to the dish and the vinaigrette was subtle and light!  this dish could honestly be made anytime of the year in my opinion, and you could mix up the nuts/fruit in the dish to make it more seasonal!  all-in-all, it was a perfect accompaniment to some pretty tasty and crispy gluten free fried chicken!

 

3 cups shredded brussels sprouts (simply slice them thinly like you would a mushroom)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup salted (shelled) sunflower seeds

1/4 large red onion, diced

salt and pepper

vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 T honey

1 T red wine vinegar

1 t ground coriander

 

whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together until fully emulsified.  season with salt and pepper.

to serve, toss the salad ingredients together, then toss the salad in the vinaigrette.  season with salt and pepper.  allow the dish to sit in the fridge for at least 30min in a plastic or glass container (don’t use metal – the acid in the vinaigrette combined with the metal will create an unwanted flavor in the dish)  before serving so the vinaigrette has a little time to break down the brussels sprouts a bit.

happy world nutella day!!!!

February 5, 2013

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most of you should now know, or at least be aware of my nutella obsession!  last year i discovered that there is a WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!  needless to say this discovery was nothing short of mind blowing for me.  an entire day dedicated to nutella… where do i sign up?!  i have dedicated a few different posts to my beloved treat of a condiment over the past year, but i must say that this year’s recipe takes the cake.

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the idea for these first came on because i had to make a treat for a bake sale at school to support the student nutrition council this weekend at our annual top chef event.  once i figured out it was soon to be world nutella day, my idea morphed into something fantabulous!  while in my mind you can put nutella on just about anything, this year’s world nutella day recipe is shortbread cookie sandwiches with ducle de leche and nutella.

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these cookies are melt in your mouth good if you ask me… the shortbread cookies have the perfect consistency and are just sweet enough, but not too sweet that they overpower the gooey goodness nestled inside, which is made up of home-made ducle de leche and nutella, umm, yum!!  this cookie seriously embodies three of my most favorite desserts… i am a total cookie monster and this may have just become my new all-time favorite dessert!!  ACTUALLY, it IS like my favorite candy, which i can no longer enjoy, TWIX!!  yes, that’s it – a nutella twix!!!!  thanks again to Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso for creating such a wonderfully delicious day!!

 

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shortbread cookie recipe from ina garten (should yield around 20 sandwiches)

3/4 lb unsalted butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

1 t vanilla extract

3.5 cups gluten free flour (i used C4C)

1/4 t salt

preheat oven to 350 F.

sift together flour and salt and set aside.  cream butter and sugar together in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until just mixed.  add in the vanilla and mix to incorporate.  slowly add in the flour while on low speed until all is incorporated.  form the dough into two discs, then wrap them in plastic and put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  putting them in the fridge will help them keep their shape when you bake them later.

after the dough has chilled, roll it out to 1/4″ thick and use a 2″ square cutter to cut cookies out.  bake on parchment for 8 minutes, or until the bottoms/edges are slightly golden.

dulce de leche

1 15oz can sweetened condensed milk

poke two holes into the top of the can.  place the can in a saucepan that is as tall as the can and fill with water until 1″ from the top of the can.  bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  let the water simmer for 3.5-4 hours.  you will have to watch the water level and continually replenish the water periodically.  also keep a watchful eye on the can to make sure none of the milk spills into the water.  after 3.5-4 hrs, dump the contents in the can into a bowl and whisk together to produce a smooth caramel!

to assemble

spread about 1 t nutella (you will need a large jar) on the inside of half the cookies.  spread the 1/2 t dulce de leche on the inside of the remaining cookies, then put a dulce de leche half and a nutella half together, et voila!  i put mine in the fridge to keep them fresh and so the nutella and caramel will set a bit so they aren’t quite as messy to eat 🙂  happy nutella day!!!

a yummy, healthy dip for superbowl that is sure to please

January 29, 2013

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oftentimes on superbowl sunday there are a whole lotta dips fighting for center stage… they are the perfect, easy way to allow people to snack throughout the meal while they down their millers and budweisers.  they generally involve some sort of bean and come topped with all manner of cheeses and sour cream.  there is generally one lonely crudite platter than everyone pretends not to notice until all the other yummy dips have been devoured, but there isn’t much of an in-between.  this edamame & arugula puree is my attempt at filling in the middle ground, where the only other contender as of recent years has been hummus.

 

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i started making this edamame & arugula dip a few years ago after reading about a fava bean and arugula puree in bon appetit.  i switched the ingredients around a little bit, and have loved the result ever since!  sometimes this dip can intimidate people, especially those who aren’t veggie fans – it’s BRIGHT green!  if they are bold enough to give it a try however, they are in for a tasty surprise!  because of the lemon juice, parmesan and roasted garlic, this dip is bursting with flavor!  i love to serve it warm, right after it’s been made because i feel like the flavors are at their best when it is warm.  it is also pretty darn tasty cold however, so whichever way to decide to dish it up will be fabulous!  you can serve it on crostini with a piece of shaved parmesan on top if you wanna make it fancy, or you can just plop it in a bowl and serve it with crackers or crudite – it will be delicious either way!

whomever you are cheering for this sunday, make sure to include this tasty dip, and be confident in knowing that you are brining something healthy disguised as awesomeness to the party, instead of being “that person” who brought the veggie platter that everyone ignores all day!

 

1 head garlic

4 cups arugula

1/2 cup grated parmesan

2 cups shelled edamame (frozen)

3/4 cup olive oil

juice from 1 lemon

salt & pepper

 

preheat oven to 400 F.

to roast the garlic, chop the top of the head off, and wrap the whole head in tin foil loosely, after drizzling with olive oil.  place it in an oven safe dish for baking so the olive oil doesn’t leak out into your oven.  bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.  allow to cool for 10 minutes before handling.  if you don’t have the time or the patience to wait for the roasted garlic, you can simply use 3 raw cloves instead).

while the garlic is in the oven, blanch the edamame.  when the edamame is done, drain it off and place it into a food processor.  add in the arugula, garlic, parmesan and lemon juice and half the olive oil.  process until somewhat smooth.  add in the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  continue to blend until the mixture is smooth.

 

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