“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.” Julia Child
Summer time is the best time! Why? Because tomatoes are finally in season!! Those cans of whole, diced, smashed and every other kind of tomato you have in your pantry all help you survive winter; but now you can enjoy the pleasures of the juicy, tender, sweet fruit in all its fresh glory.
Right now I have an array of alliums and herbs growing in my window (not to mention the pesky fruit flies…), and I’ve really been meaning to use my basil from my massive plant. What better way to use basil than in a pesto? Granted, I used practically my whole plant and it looks pretty pathetic right now, but it’ll grow back.
Pesto is so versatile and also so simple to make! It is great condiment for grilled salmon, or tossed with spaghetti (and some reserved pasta water), on eggs for breakfast, or on a salad of tomatoes, burrata and olive oil. Yes, the tomato is perfect on its own, but if you want to make your caprese a little fancy, go for burrata instead of mozzarella, add a little dollop of pesto and a drizzle of olive oil…buon appetito
yields about 1 cup
3 cups fresh Basil, very loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup ice water
In a food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese. Texture will be coarse. Add lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Blend until combined. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. A paste should start to form and it should become more smooth. Run for 2 minutes. In your 1/4 cup measurer, add two ice cubes, then fill the rest of the way with water. With the motor running, slowly add the ice water to the mixture, holding back the ice cubes. This will help further emulsify the pesto and make a smooth, creamy texture.