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Video: Giada De Laurentiis cooks up an Earth Day feast

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    >>> this morning on "today's kitchen goes green," some off-the-wall cooking. back with us, giada de laurentiis . we mean that quite literally when we say off the wall. this is the living wall .

    >> there's lots of beautiful herbs growing here. they do this at restaurants, and they even do it for people's homes. pretty cool, isn't it?

    >> so a chef would actually have one of these out back?

    >> yes, and they go clip their herbs and make pesto and salad and even a drink with it.

    >> we're going to make some pesto ravioli, i understand.

    >> this is a very tall wall. i'm a very petite woman.

    >> are you going to ask me to get up there?

    >> i thought you could give me a little push.

    >> i'm going to boost you up here? is this a good idea?

    >> he can handle it.

    >> what are we going for so i know where to aim?

    >> just don't knock me over. some lavender, parsley.

    >> she's going to be up there a while.

    >> you get to pick one.

    >> i'm going to go for some thyme. ready? oh wait, i can't get it.

    >> she got the thyme.

    >> she's got the thyme, you got the muscle.

    >> good thing i didn't eat breakfast so far today. we're going to start with an herb salad. starting with arugula. and then we're going to add --

    >> is that parsley?

    >> it's parsley. it's basil. throw some thyme in. some lemon thyme. i like to clip some chives as well for that sweet onion flavor.

    >> this is right up your alley, natalie .

    >> is that fennel that you put on top?

    >> natalie could do it.

    >> i'll give you a boost.

    >> this is the great thing. we're going to dress it with a little vinegarette. i like to put some edible flowers .

    >> how do you know?

    >> where do you get an edible flower ?

    >> from the edible flower store.

    >> you can get them at the grocery store .

    >> i've seen them at the grocery store .

    >> i put it right over the top . what i love, even on mother's day, is to grill some chicken or steak and serve it right over the top .

    >> most people don't have a living wall , so where am i getting my herbs?

    >> at the grocery store or you can plant them in your yard or kitchen.

    >> all right, a little pesto now.

    >> so we're going to add all these different herbs. basil, parsley, mint for sweetness. that is al's secret ingredient .

    >> it's the anchovy piece. it's that salty bite you can't get from anything else.

    >> that looks good.

    >> there we go.

    >> you just don't tell people you put it in. little salt and pepper . going to put some pine nuts in there for a little richness, some parmesan cheese .

    >> a little olive oil , right?

    >> the first thing we're going to do, actually, natalie , the first thing we're going to do is --

    >> got to turn it back on. okay, now try it. okay.

    >> so i turn it on to break up all the herbs. and then we can start adding the olive oil .

    >> it probably emulsifies better that way, right?

    >> you took the top off.

    >> usually you're supposed to add it while it's running.

    >> but if you do that, it won't -- hiring a professional chef!

    >> it's different.

    >> if you get the giada de laurentiis one.

    >> at target.

    >> there's the pesto.

    >> the ravioli.

    >> stop! get it together. cheese ravioli.

    >> with that delicious pesto.

    >> what's in the drink?

    >> the drink is awesome. it's vodka infused with rosemary, oregano, and lavender. add sparkling water and sweet vermouth .

    >> thanks so much.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/22/2013 8:05:20 AM ET 2013-04-22T12:05:20

Recipe: Herb salad

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plusmore for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, stemmed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Edible flowers, for garnish

In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper until well mixed. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the herbs, arugula, and fennel. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with edible flowers and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Four-cheese ravioli with herb pesto

  • Herb pesto
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 packed cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 packed cup of fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted* see Cook's Note
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ravioli filling
  • 11/2 cups (12 ounces), fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 packed cup (3 ounces) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 35 store-bought wonton wrappers
  • 11/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, mint, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, pepper, anchovy paste and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until chunky. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until the pesto is smooth.

For the ravioli filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the cheeses, nutmeg, breadcrumbs salt, and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water until smooth.

To form the ravioli: Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the wonton wrappers with the egg mixture. Spoon 1 level tablespoon of the filling into the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold the opposite corners of each wonton wrapper over to form triangle shapes. Seal the edges firmly, pressing out any air around the filling. (Can be made a few hours in advance. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to use.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 11/2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. In batches, add the ravioli to the water and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the ravioli and drain in a colander. Transfer the ravioli to shallow soup bowls. Spoon the sauce over the ravioli and serve.


Cook's Note: To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Herb and orange negroni

  • Herb and orange negroni
  • 1 cup herb-infused vodka, recipe follows
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bitters, recommended: Campari
  • Ice
  • Fresh thyme sprigs and orange slices to garnish
  • Herb-infused vodka
  • 4 (6-inch-long) stems fresh rosemary
  • 8 (6-inch-long) stems fresh oregano
  • 8 (4-inch-long) stems fresh thyme
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle vodka

Herb and orange negroni:In a pitcher, stir together the vodka (see instructions below), orange juice, vermouth, sparkling water, if using, and bitters. Pour into 4 iced-filled old-fashion glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and an orange slice.

Herb-infused vodka: In a pitcher, combine the rosemary, oregano and thyme. Using a wooden spoon, gently crush the herbs. Add the vodka and cover the pitcherwith plastic. Store at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Strain before using.

Serving Size

Makes 4-6 servings

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