One of my favorite things to grow in my herb garden is basil. Is there any lovelier herb? The sweet smell is so inspiring and it adds something special to any dish you add it to. Something as simple as juicy ripe tomatoes from the garden, sliced, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with chiffonade of basil seems elegant and is so very scrumptious.
I also love to make pesto. Several years ago, I took a basic pesto recipe and experimented, taking a little of this, and a bit more of that, and came up with my own version. When My Girl was a toddler, she would eat pretty much anything if it had this pesto on it.
I would love to share it with you...
HELENA'S ROASTED PEPPER PESTO SAUCE
* 2 cups fresh basil
* 1 cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
* 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
* 1/2 cup pine nuts - toasted
* 4 cloves of garlic - chopped
* 2 roasted red peppers
* 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
* 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
* 2 tbsp. water
Toast the pine nuts in a dry, hot pan, just until lightly brown. Keep a careful eye on these, as they brown very fast! Remove from pan and put aside to cool.
You can roast the red peppers yourself, if you like. There are instructions all over the internet on how to do so, and it's very easy. But if you prefer, jarred roasted peppers work just fine.
Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add the cooled pine nuts and continue to blend until all ingredients are combined.
Slowly drizzle in olive oil until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste.
Enjoy on pasta, roasted veggies, bruschetta, grilled chicken… anything you like!
I hope you will try it! It is the perfect thing on a hot day, and it is also a great way to use some herbs and veggies from your garden.