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Sunday, January 9, 2011

tropical escape, cilantro pesto salmon bento

Hi bento pals! On this very cold and blustery weekend, we escaped to the tropical light and lushness of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, located near the Capitol. Wandering around the vibrant tendrils and bright exotic flowers of the Conservatory and taking in the tall green canopy of palms and other tropical trees was a reviving respite from the chill doldrums of January in D.C.

Walking against the wind, a view of the Capitol as we made our way towards our destination (the building to the right of the horse statue)...
The Conservatory
The light, bright space inside was rich with life and color...
In the Hawaii section of the Conservatory, lush native plants and a soothing waterfall...
In the Jungle, tropical rainforest plants luxuriate in a water-rich atmosphere (cool mists wafted through the space as we sat on a bench, gazing upwards) under a 93 foot glass dome:
Simply amazing orchids!

Jamison's image of some sunny yellow flowers in full bloom:

An awesome papaya tree:

Monday's bento features salmon with cilantro pesto--here's the dish, dinner edition:
To make the cilantro pesto:
Toss in your food processor or blender

one bunch of cilantro, leaves only
two garlic cloves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 Tbs chicken or veggie broth
1/4 cup sliced almonds
a glug of olive oil
salt to taste

Blend to make a bright green, aromatic sauce.
Pour over your salmon fillets and top with additional slivered almonds, bake in 375 oven until done (about 10 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets), enjoy!

Lunch includes salmon in pesto, barley pilaf topped with Japanese ginger and baby eggplant pickles, green beans and a wonderful deep orange carrot variety found at Mitsuwa, stir fried. Kumquats, green apple and a soft jelly in a pretty iris-decorated wrapper also in the bento.

Still celebrating the new Year of the Rabbit...have a lovely week!

 

22 comments:

Lyndsey said...

Everything is just beautiful I can see how that could cheer up a cold winter day. Jenn, your bento too would make anyone smile! As always I love all the colors, and the barley pilaf sounds good.

It's good to see you again, I have to get back on the computer more and get to posting my bentos. Hope everyone is sticking with me, I am still around. Hope your new year is great and everything is going your way! :D

Bentobird said...

Hi Lyndsey, so nice to see you again, have been wondering how you've been...Happy New Year! Ah, I'll bet you've got color and exuberance like this all around you in FL! Looking forward to your new posts and wishing you a fantastic year ahead...hugs :D

Megg said...

Oh Jenn, I can't even tell you how much I love this bento! It's so beautiful and balanced, and the description really makes me hungry.. I would have a hard time not eating that whole lunch in a matter of seconds! ^_^ Great work!

Robin said...

What a perfect idea to shake the winter doldrums. The trip to the conservatory an inspiration and your pictures capture it perfectly. I love visiting them. Your salmon meal is on my menu wish list. Sounds delish!

Bentobird said...

Big smile from your comment Megg, thank you! That magical TJ's barley blend is soooo good. I have a long day at work on Monday and I hope this bento will give me stamina :D

Have a really great week!

Bentobird said...

Hi Robin! I'm honored to win a place on your menu wish list, yay!! Thanks for coming along on this outing, see you at your delish blog this week :D

Jessica (Mother Nature Mom) said...

This is just beautiful! It's very cold and blustery in Georgia as well.

I have a question - I recently bought a pint of kumquats, having never tried them before. How would you go about eating them? Do you peel them like an orange, or just pop them in your mouth whole?

Bentobird said...

Hi Jessica, welcome and thanks for your visit :D
I like them whole, and also sliced thin in salads. Some recipes and cool info here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/magazine/26food.html

Emily Ng said...

Wow..SUPER nice and beautiful photos and bento as always!!! I love to eat salmon, but price is expansive here.

Bentobird said...

Hi Emily, thanks so much!! Yep, salmon can be pricey here, too :0 Have a wonderful week...

KidsDreamWork said...

Your photo as well as your bento never fail to brightened up my day Jenn! Love them all!

Bentobird said...

Hello there Ai Ping! So sweet of you, thanks for brightening up MY day!

Susan Yuen said...

Oh my gosh that salmon bento is fabulous!!! Absolutely gorgeous and mouthwatering!

Bentobird said...

Hi Susan!! Thanks indeed, Happy, Happy New Year! I thought of you while enjoying the Hawaii section of this beautiful indoor garden :D

Angeleyes said...

So colorful and looks yummy too!!

sherimiya said...

What a wonderful Conservatory. Especially nice to visit on these frigid days of winter! The cilantro pesto sounds delicious, as I am a huge cilantro fan. I've made arugula pest before, and I loved the peppery flavor a lot. Beautiful colors and effects, Jenn!

buywowaccount said...

That is paradise! Love the greeneries and colorful flowers they have. Of course your bento's a hit as usual.Love the salmon and pesto combo.

yunitarahmasari aka tatabonita said...

Hi, Jenn! Long time no see hehehehe. How I miss visiting this blog :D. Always love the photos you captured, you're a really good photographer ^^. And the bento is just as beautiful as the flowers in the photos :D

Bentobird said...

Thanks so much, Angeleyes!

Bentobird said...

Hi Sheri, smiling with your kind comments, thank you! If you love cilantro, I think you'll enjoy this recipe--love how it seemed to concentrate the unique green essence of this herb and the color was pretty, too!

Bentobird said...

Thanks! Salmon and herbs go very nicely together :D

Bentobird said...

Hi Ta! Yes, and its so lovely to "see" you again, Happy New Year, dear! I look forward to seeing the world through the lens of your wonderful images in 2011!