July 3, 2007

My Basil Affirmation

I’m such a foodie. I’m sitting here eating spinach linguine with homemade pesto, while snacking on Chantal cheese (dang this aged cheddar is good) and a few lychee for dessert (these are quite juicy and wrecking havoc on my work area). I love it.

Actually, last night was one of those nights that makes me feel better about my ability to cook. My dish worked gloriously. But, I cannot take all the credit. In truth, the farmer’s market supplied a gloriously fresh bunch of basil for my homemade pesto. Every time I visit the farmer’s market across the street, the smell of the basil demands I do something with it: put it in on pizza, make a caprese salad, even dunk in lemonade with a bit of watermelon.

When J* suggested pesto, I reveled in my increasing awareness of his genius. The classic pesto recipes generally include basil, pine nuts, garlic, sometimes a touch of fresh Pecorino-Romano cheese, and plenty of olive oil. Being a fan of walnuts, I decided to substitute them for the pine nuts. Hey, cooking is all about experimentation (and, well, I’d heard this works). The pesto came out a bit chunky, for want of a proper food processor, but was still completely delicious over the spinach linguine. Triumph! A glass of red wine was all the accompaniment I needed.

Here is a classic Pesto recipe, but with Parmesan instead of Romano (I like both versions). Feel free to substitute walnuts and let me know what you think.

Wolfgang Puck’s pesto pasta is a great way to use your homemade pesto.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

-Caley, looking forward to things going “Boom!” tomorrow

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