Black Honey Café/Catering/Desserts AND a Recipe for Wild Leek Pesto

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Some of the daily desserts for sale at Black Honey.

I had a lovely interview with Lisa Dixon of Black Honey today.

If you haven’t heard of Black Honey before, I suggest a few things: get on down to the café district in downtown Peterborough and check out this wonderful dessert haven/coffee house/bakery; and also, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming print edition of Peterborough This Week in order to read all about this unique establishment.

While most people recognize Black Honey as a cozy café, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes – such as a catering kitchen that specializes in truly spectacular, local-based foods, as well as a bakery that produces everything from specialty breads to fine desserts to some of the best wedding cakes in Peterborough.

While the café is easy enough to find – it is plunked right in the middle of a stretch of restaurants on Hunter Street West – the bakery itself is hidden behind, in an area that is becoming home to some of the best patios in the city.

I’ve been a fan of both Dixon and Black Honey for years.  I’ve eaten there more times than I can count, pick up hand-made chocolate-chili truffles on a regular basis, and make it one of my regular haunts for a good cup of tea.

Dixon’s attention to detail, artistic approach to foods, and insistence on local and seasonal ingredients, make Black Honey a place that I often recommend – both to locals and to visitors to Peterborough.

It’s going to be a pleasure to write about her and her business.

Now, one of the pleasures of writing about local food, is the fact that I get to try more than my fair share of local food products.  Today, I left Black Honey with a loaf of Potato-Cumin bread under my arm – the perfect accompaniment to the leftover wild leek/bacon frittata I was having for lunch.

While I’m not going to offer a recipe for the frittata – you can find a mini frittata recipe in an earlier blog entry from last summer – I will offer up a wild leek pesto recipe that I enjoyed earlier this week.  This wild leek season is only going to last another few weeks, so I may as well take advantage of sharing as many recipes as I can for it.  Check out my intro to wild leeks – and a recipe for Fiddlehead/Wild Leek Quiche – from an earlier blog.

When adapting the frittata recipe, you can replace the new potatoes with potatoes from last year (available at market), replace the kale with a spring green, replace the onion with wild leeks, and omit the very unseasonable tomatoes.  You may want to increase the number of eggs used.

And now…

Wild Leek Pesto

Ingredients:

1 bunch ramps, about a dozen stocks, washed well.
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh, soft goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

  • Lightly toast almonds
  • Place in food processor and pulse until roughly crumbled
  • Add wild leeks and lemon zest; pulse until pureed
  • Move to a bowl and mix in goat cheese and olive oil
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

When using the pesto with pasta, I tend to reserve some of the water the pasta was cooked in.  It helps lubricate the dish.

I love throwing some fried and roughly chopped double smoked bacon in with this dish.  The smoky saltiness offers a great contrast to the delicate and fresh wild leek/lemon combo.

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