Thursday, August 6, 2009


The most delightful part of our garden is our herbs. We grow only a few--basil, parsley and cilantro. But wow, do they go into a lot of what we create.
And worry not, bella, because if you like them, too, these herbs are inexpensive to buy in the store.
Today, we make a nice little repast, gloriously lead by basil, parsley, garlic and good Italian olive oil.
What is it?
Why, your own pesto!
In a blender (in order of appearance here), stack 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves. Tear them off the stem, cara. Same with 1 cup of parsley. Add in 1/2 c. of olive oil. 2 large cloves of chopped garlic. And 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan. (Add pine nuts if you like, but they are expensive and I tend to skip them.) Blend! Pour into a glass jar, freshly washed, and then refrigerate.
For your afternoon delight, buy a good bottle of valpolicella, a red from the eastern areas near Venice. Also, buy a few Italian salumes like hard salami, cotto and if you like prosciutto, all sliced very thinly.
Then buy a package of cherry tomatoes, good mozzarella in a chunk. Cut up the cheese into cubes. Alternate a tomato with a piece of cheese. Add green and yellow or orange pepper slices for drama. Arrange on a plate and serve atop a light dusting of fresh greens, toothpick edge fanned out so that you can pick them up easily. Drizzle all with your fresh pesto. (Use the rest of your pesto as a base for your own salad dressing, and for a rich addition to chicken dishes, close to the end of cooking so that you do not brown the herbs!)
Serve with your red wine and selection of sliced salumes.
Be sure to save your greens--and toss with a full salad later.
But for your air today, buy a candle of lime or lemon. The aroma is fresh and will complement the strong flavors of your pesto.
CIAO, my darlings! Until next Thursday, be well, eat heartily and live long!
(copyright 2009, Cerise DeLand)


Amber Skyze said...

You need to write a cookbook! You always have wonderful treats for us.

Emma Lai said...

Ooh...fresh pesto!

Delicious Romance From Cerise DeLand said...

I am hoping I can sell this--to an e-book publisher.
Know of any who pub non-fiction? WOW. I can find only one--and they list COOKBOOKS but have no info on them.
So glad you enjoy these.

Delicious Romance From Cerise DeLand said...

Do try. This is sooooooo easy and everyone thinks you are a delightful witch to have figured it out. (So sinfully easy.)

Fran Lee Romance said...

Yum! I adore fresh basil and pine nut pesto! My D-I-L and son built me a garden with all the ingredients except pine nuts. Your recipe with parsley sounds luscious!