Posts tagged ‘pesto’
–Make a summery salad of watermelon chunks and cherry tomatoes with feta or goat cheese, topped off with chopped mint and pistachios, and tossed with red vinegar and oil. It’s an unusual combination, but surprisingly refreshing. (Use the leftover watermelon to blend up killer margaritas!)
— Steam fresh green beans and mix with a warm dressing of sautéed chopped red onions or shallots, Dijon mustard, dill, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
— Slice a French baguette lengthwise and spread with basil pesto. Pile on fresh slices of mozzarella, tomato and a fistful of basil or arugula. Have plenty of napkins handy!
— For a light and novel dessert, cut a nectarine or peach into halves, grill lightly on both sides and top with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with a syrup of balsamic vinegar and honey that has simmered gently on the stove.
— Take advantage of the abundance of mint to make a pesto to serve with lamb. Start with a basic pesto recipe –- replace half of the basil with mint, and the other half with Italian parsley. Then substitute walnuts for the pine nuts to enjoy a delicious alternative to mint jelly. And to make the meal even more special, ask the butcher to bone and butterfly the lamb so it can be grilled.
Pesto is one of life’s greatest delights–whether it is made with arugula, basil, or cilantro. Make up a batch and freeze it in ice cube trays so you’ll always have some on hand: try it as a quick fix for a bland soup; to add a layer of complexity to a sauce; or to perk up a pasta. You might also consider filling a canning jar and giving it as a gift–your friends will love you! (Be sure to put a layer of oil on top to keep the air from ruining the vibrant green color).
Arugula–Puree batches of this sharply flavored green with olive oil, garlic and a touch of lemon. Add to just cooked linguine or bocatini tossed with sautéed shallots, garlic, sliced wild mushrooms and spinach. Serve with balsamic vinegar and pecorino romano cheese at the table.
Basil–A traditional pesto calls for basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. Mix with a good quality mayonnaise, in approximately equal proportions, and spread on toasted ciabatta. Make a terrific sandwich with grilled salmon or chicken, roasted red peppers and wild greens.
Cilantro—Combine cilantro in a food processor with garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Cook a shaped pasta, preferably ditale or cavatappi. Put in a big bowl and add corn, chopped scallions, and red pepper, blue cheese and black beans. If you want a heartier dish, chunks of grilled chicken make this a true meal.
Previously published in the Independent magazine.