Pesto Fest 2013 is in the record books. My friend Shawen Williams and I harvested 12 lbs of her organic basil from her home farm in Bristol, RI. Then, on the hottest day in the summer, we made about 50 lbs of pesto using her secret award winning recipe.
It is a secret, but I can reveal that it includes 2 kinds of cheese, fresh garlic, pine nuts, and really good extra virgin olive oil.
Freshly made pesto is one of the best flavors of summer. The aroma of fresh basil is like nothing else. Dried basil is tasteless in comparison. I rarely use dried basil. I’ve often said, "if you can’t get fresh basil…walk away"
There are a lot of different ways that you can use pesto besides in pasta dishes. I like to spread it over toast and top with bruschetta, stir into grain salads, toss with veggies, garnish soups or brush over grilled fish and meats. My favorite quick appetizer is simple skewers of halved cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella paired with a dish of pesto for dipping. Very simple and everyone loves it. Best, Victoria