I don’t know about the majority, some of you may have a love affair with snow, not me! My mind has been frozen! I am tired of being cold, trapped inside a puffy down coat reserved for those who live in Alaska. So with thoughts of thawing ground, blooming Tulips and pollen I was inspired! As I have mentioned, cooking shows are my soap operas of choice. On an episode of Pizza Masters, a pesto sauce was made that made my mouth water. Then while reading an e-mail from Saveur Magazine a similar recipe was featured. With thoughts of Spring dancing in my mind I was ready to create a dish to escort the change of season into my life. Finding fresh basil in the grocery store, tomatoes on the vine, pine nuts, and with ingredients I have on hand; garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parma cheese a dish of pasta with pesto was on the menu. As I placed the ingredients in my mini food processor I was propelled to those lazy, hazy summer days, sitting by my daughters pool sipping some white sangria while grazing on fresh Jersey tomatoes sliced and topped with fresh mozzarella sprinkled with sea salt, drizzled with EVOO, then decorated with fresh basil leaves. YUM! So here is a my version of this pesto that brings together those wonderful flavors of Summer which is now right around the corner.
In a small fry pan toast 1 tablespoon of pine nuts. You can use walnuts however I suggest that you toast them also to bring out their flavor.
In the bowl of a food processor add the following ingredients.
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes (I found cherry tomatoes on the vine at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon of pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 large clove of garlic chopped roughly (it will process better if chopped a bit)
1/2 cup of grated parma cheese
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
2 anchovy filets ( optional however I highly suggest you add them)
Pulse the food processor until just blended. Because of the juice from the tomatoes you only need about 3 tablespoons of EVOO. Taste for salt and pepper.
Place in a glass jar and you are ready to use this delicious pesto with pasta, on fish or in a risotto.