Monday, June 27, 2011


Summer means fresh garden herbs, basil included.  Basil makes a lot of great things including two of my favorites margherita pizzas, and pesto.  Fresh pesto is great in the summer because it takes few ingredients, requires no heat, and is quick to prepare.  Tonight's dinner featured ravioli and pesto with a moscato white wine.  Shrimp and chicken would have also made great additions to this dish.  To make pesto in a blender combine:

2 cups fresh packed basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 head garlic (or less)

blend and add in:

olive oil (1/2 cup to start plus additional to reach desired consistency)

At restaurants lately I have noticed pesto used in sandwiches and being made out of anything green with arugula pesto being quite popular.  Next time I make this I will blend in some fresh mint or rosemary from the garden to see how it turns out.  Cilantro pesto would also make for an interesting experiment.

Ravioli with pesto and moscato.  Crushed red pepper added some mild heat to the dish.  Preparation and dishes took less than 1/2 hour.

Two of the containers in the backyard garden.  A few basil plants and occasional reseeding can provide fresh basil all summer. 

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