During my quest to create meals based on each of the Hogwarts Houses, Slytherin was the most appealing. Slytherins are cunning, ambitious, resourceful and will do whatever it takes to get their way. This house has always intrigued me, but I felt that I related to it the least compared to the other houses. It wasn't until I realized the colors of the house that I felt confident.

The Slytherin House

The colors of the Slytherin House are green and silver. I knew silver would be a challenge, but the possibilities with green were endless. Countless vegetables and dishes flashed in my mind when debating what to create; but I ultimately settled on one of my favorite foods. Pesto is my favorite sauce for pasta, pizza and basically any dish that can benefit from it (which is pretty much everything). 

So it was settled. I would make some sort of pesto with fresh basil, but why limit myself to just one green? I decided to add kale to my pesto for some extra calcium and potassium. Now I had an excuse to eat all of the pesto I want because, hey, extra vitamins!

Unfortunately, the only edible silver food that came to mind was silver sprinkles, so kale pesto would have to do. For the dessert, however, I had a great idea. For the past few months, my Instagram explore page has slowly been taken over by people eating Tanghulu fruits, which are basically fruit covered in a hard candy. I have been dying to try since I first saw them, so this was the perfect opportunity to make them.

Kale Pesto Pasta

The kale pesto pasta is one of the simplest dishes to make. It only takes six ingredients and about 20 minutes to make. The six ingredients in the pesto are kale, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and garlic. (If you're allergic to nuts, you can use sunflower seeds).

Ashley Linares

I began by filling a pot with hot water and letting it get to a rolling boil. Once it was boiling, I added half of a box of spaghetti and half of a bunch of washed kale. The kale was thoroughly wilted after about a minute in the boiling water, so I took it out with a slotted spoon and added it to a food processor with the rest of the pesto ingredients.

While the pasta was boiling, I heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. To that, I added the breadcrumbs and pine nuts and toasted them until they were golden brown and fragrant. 

Ashley Linares

Finally, I drained the cooked spaghetti and mixed in the pesto. Once topped with the breadcrumb and pine nut mixture, it was the image of beauty with vibrant green noodles and golden pine nuts on top.

Ashley Linares

Unsurprisingly, the pasta was delicious. The pesto was creamy, salty, bright, and garlicky, while the breadcrumb and pine nut topping was crunchy, nutty and buttery. I had to refrain from eating the entire pot.

Tanghulu Green Grapes

Ashley Linares

Next, I made the Tanghulu green grapes. I was slightly apprehensive about making candy. Ever since my childhood, I have been traumatized by one of my sister's friends getting severe burns on her hand from molten sugar. I have purposely stayed out of the candy-making world, but I felt that it was time to venture out of my comfort zone.

The recipe was simple enough; the only three ingredients were green grapes, one cup of sugar and two cups of water. The tricky part was attaining and maintaining the correct temperature of the sugar. To get that crunchy candy coating that hardens instantly, you need to heat the sugar mixture to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered the "hard crack" phase in which candy will hold its shape and crack when force is applied. 

Ashley Linares

Once the sugar was at the correct temperature, I added the silver sprinkles and dipped in the grapes. Thankfully, I managed to not burn myself, and I now feel comfortable enough to experiment with other candy dishes. It was incredibly fascinating how quickly the candy hardened around the grape— it was almost instantaneous. 

Ashley Linares

In the end, the Tanghulu grapes were beautiful and sweet with the perfect amount of crunch. They were a bit warm from the sugar which made the grapes extra juicy. The silver sprinkles contrasted beautifully with the green grapes and represented the Slytherin House perfectly. 

Ashley Linares

Slytherin Success

Not only was this process incredibly fun, but the food was incredible. I was left with pesto pasta for days and Tanghulu grapes to marvel at. Now I want to experiment more with candy coated foods and become more experienced in the candy-making world.