Basilico

Well the garden is in full swing! We have done some harvesting, mostly zucchini, zucchini flowers, peppers and herbs. The tomatoes are doing well and the eggplant are on the rebound. There is nothing like fresh herbs, my favorites being basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme too. Our basil plants are thriving; the more you pick the better they do. So with that in mind, today I made a fresh straight from the garden batch of pesto. Many believe that basil is the King of herbs especially when paired with tomatoes. However fresh pesto is amazingly versatile. You can use it as a sauce for pasta, a spread like mayo on chicken, think panini or add to your marinara sauce for a burst of freshness. My personal favorite is a Calabrese salad! Thick sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a drizzle of EVOO, with a sprinkle of salt topped with a dollop of pesto! Place that between two slices of good Italian bread; Yum! But for today it was a dish of pasta tossed with my fresh pesto, Heavenly. Try this simple recipe, it freezes well. Make it in an ice cube tray, like little cubes and you’ll have a bit of summer on a cold winter day.

Pesto

3 cups of basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup EVOO

1/4 cup grated cheese  optional if you are dairy free

salt and pepper to taste

Place nuts, roughly chopped garlic, and half the basil in a food processor or blender. Blend until ingredients are finely chopped. Add the rest of the basil and cheese if using. Blend until a uniform paste. Scrap down sides and drizzle the EVOO slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust if salt and pepper are needed. This recipe can be easily doubled. Enjoy!

Cherry Hill, NJ

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