Monday, July 27, 2015

Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Cobbler

I keep coming back to the book Huckleberry. I had a feeling this would happen when I first read it. I haven’t baked my way entirely through the Muffins chapter yet, but I did find out just how delicious the Chocolate Chunk Muffins are. And, I don’t know how I haven’t baked the Blueberry Brioche or made the Brown Rice Quinoa Pancakes yet but I will eventually. Lately, I’ve been flipping back through the pages of all the savory dishes for breakfast or brunch. The photos of the sandwiches cause serious cravings. The Fried Green Tomato and Spicy Slaw Tartine and the Smashed Avocado Toast with Hard-Boiled Eggs and Anchovy Dressing will need to happen soon. But then, I remembered this lovely tomato cobbler that Barbara showed on her blog back in April. Roasted cherry tomatoes were topped with biscuits made with a mix of whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and cornmeal. I had pretty, little Juliet red tomatoes, Sungold yellow cherry tomatoes, and local heirloom cornmeal, and the time was right for this cobbler. It’s pretty quick and easy to prepare, and it’s even easier if you make the biscuits in advance and leave them in the freezer. 

To start the biscuits, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt were combined. Butter was worked into the flours by hand, and this is the way I almost always make pastry, scones, or biscuits. You can really feel how well the butter is getting worked in, and you stop when the butter pieces are broken up just enough. Buttermilk was added to bring the dough together, and it was transferred to a board to knead a couple of times. The biscuits were cut, and they were placed on a baking sheet in the freezer. I made them a couple of days in advance. For the cobbler, cherry tomatoes were cooked on top of the stove, and I added some garlic and crushed red chiles. Once they were softened, I transferred them to a baking dish. The tomatoes were topped with the biscuits, and the biscuits were brushed with an egg wash. The cobbler baked for about 25 minutes, and then goat cheese was sprinkled around between the biscuits. The oven temperature was increased, and the cobbler went back in for another 10 minutes. I topped the cobbler with chopped basil before serving. 

Juicy, roasted, summer tomatoes with fresh, mild goat cheese and buttery biscuits make a lovely, leisurely meal for a weekend morning. The biscuits rise and turn golden on top while soaking up tomato juices from below for a great crisp and tender texture contrast. Looking at how many other dishes I want to try in this book, some breakfast-for-dinner nights will come in handy. 

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

S’mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue

It had been ages since I’d done any baking, and this was a great recipe for a return to it. I saw these bars in Food and Wine magazine back in April and made a mental note that I must try them. Anything of or related to s’mores is an easy sell on me. Whether it’s fancy s’mores with homamde graham crackers and marshmallows with divine varieties of chocolate, s’mores cookies, or any other similar concoction, I’m game. I deemed the 4th of July a good occasion for all-American S’mores Bars and brought these along to a party. The recipe is from Cheryl and Griffith Day of Back in the Day Bakery fame, and it’s definitely a keeper. I had my fears going into this project. I wasn’t sure the meringue would hold up after the bars were cut. I was sure I’d have drooping, sliding meringue that wouldn’t stay where it belonged on each bar. I was also a little uncertain about the fudgy chocolate layer since it’s baked just to the point of jiggliness. Again, I imagined a possible runny mess upon cutting. And, I was wrong on all counts. The bars cut easily enough and everything stayed just where it should. It was actually a very fun recipe to make especially since I got to use one of my most favorite kitchen tools: the torch. 

There are a few steps to making the bars. First, the crust was made by pressing a mix of graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and a little salt into a nine-inch baking pan lined with foil. It’s important to line the pan with foil to make it easy to remove the finished bars before cutting. The crust was baked and cooled. Next, the filling was made by melting butter and chocolate together in a double-boiler. Sugar, vanilla, and salt were whisked into the chocolate mixture followed by two eggs. Flour was folded in, and the batter was poured over the crust. This was baked for about 25 minutes until the edges were set, and it was left to cool completely. Last, the meringue was made by whisking egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water until the sugar dissolved. I used the mixer bowl and then transferred it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Vanilla and cream of tartar were added, and the meringue was whipped until firm. Swooping meringue about and making curlicues is almost as much fun as pulling out the kitchen torch and browning the swirls. Once I’d had enough fun torching the meringue, I removed the whole block from the pan and cut it into bars. It helps to rinse off the knife between each cut to keep the edges slightly neater. 

As I tasted one of these glorious bars, I wondered how many tries it took for the recipe developers to arrive at the perfect balance of crust to chocolate filling to meringue topping. I wouldn’t change a single thing. I predict this will be an often-used recipe. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Spicy Squid and Shrimp Stir-Fry

In my last post, I apologized for all the salads lately. Of course, I blame this on the temporary kitchen. As long as we’re living in our temporary home waiting for our new home to be finished, I’m going to lack interest in spending time in this little kitchen that doesn’t have enough countertop space. I’ve been cooking mostly quick and simple things that don’t require much room to prepare with only a few forays into baking. Below is a photo of the current state of my new kitchen. It’s still very unfinished, but I can’t wait for the day when I can start cooking in it. 

In the meantime, here’s another dish that was simple to prepare and one that came packed with big, spicy flavors. This is from The Slanted Door book by Charles Phan, and this is a book I purchased back around the holidays. I read the book right after purchasing it and marked a lot of pages of things to try. I tried the Crab with Cellophane Noodles for my birthday in March and loved it. I’ve been meaning to try the Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Vegetarian Imperial Rolls, but sadly, they both would be easier to construct with more work space than I currently have. Other recipes marked include Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Spicy Lemongrass Soup, Seared Scallops in Vietnamese Beurre Blanc, Shrimp and Long Beans, Cashew Chicken with gingko nuts and Chinese dates, and the luscious-looking Vietnamese Chocolate Tres Leches Cake. When I get settled in my new kitchen, I plan to spend a couple of days cooking through these pages. For now, I’ll stick to simpler dishes like this stir-fry. 

In the book, it’s made with only squid, but I added shrimp as well. The squid tubes were cut into rings, and the shrimp were cleaned and deveined. I chopped a pineapple into chunks and prepped the bell pepper and jalapeno. The cooking goes very quickly, so everything should be prepped and ready. First, the squid and shrimp were cooked in batches in a hot wok over high heat. Cooking a few pieces at a time ensure the heat in the wok doesn’t drop too much as the seafood is added. Each batch of the squid and shrimp was removed after cooking for a minute or two and set aside. Next, pineapple chunks, bell pepper strips, jalapeno slices, a split serrano chile, and a couple of tablespoons of sake were added to the wok. This mixture was cooked for a couple of minutes before the seafood was returned to the wok. Thai basil leaves and fish sauce were added and stirred to combine. I served the stir-fry with steamed jasmine rice and more Thai basil. 

I’ve mentioned before my love of spicy chiles and sweet fruit with seafood, and I was delighted with it here. With the sliced jalapeno with seeds left in place, this was a dish with definite heat as it was intended. The sweet pineapple balances the heat well. This could easily become part of our regular meal rotation. Spicy stir-fry for Friday dinner works for me in any kitchen. 

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tomato Salad with Crisped Farro, Purslane, and Roasted Tomato-Miso Vinaigrette

Do you know what’s happened? Including this one, I’ve just given you five posts in a row about salads. Apparently, I don’t call it salad season for nothing. I promise to bring something else to the blog soon and maybe even bake something. But for today, here’s another really great salad for beautiful tomatoes. I received a review copy of The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson and immediately appreciated the book’s intent. Acheson was inspired to offer ideas for cooking with several common types of produce from farmers’ markets and CSA’s, and of course his humor is injected throughout the book. There are about four recipes each for 50 different seasonal items, and they’re the kind of interesting recipes that get you thinking of new ways to use these ingredients. I’m wishing our local season for artichokes wasn’t over yet now that I see the Pickled Shrimp, Crisp Artichokes, and Butter Lettuce dish and Shaved Artichokes, Bay Scallops, and Preserved Lemon. For summer corn, there’s Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Creamed Corn, Lemongrass, and Crisp Shallots. And, since this year’s first appearance of purple hull peas just arrived from our CSA, I can’t wait to try the Gratin of Field Peas and Roasted Tomatoes or Fried Black-Eyed Peas. I grabbed one of the first local melons I found and tried the Sauteed Catfish with Cantaloupe, Lime, and Cilantro Salsa. I love the flavors of sweet fruit with spicy chiles in a salsa for seafood, and this was a delicious example of that combination. Next, I found myself stuck in the Tomato section on this salad with crispy farro and that lovely-sounding Roasted Tomato-Miso Vinaigrette. Those two components make this much more than a simple act of layering sliced tomatoes and salad greens. 

To begin, you need to cook, drain, and dry the farro. Once tender, I strained off the cooking water and spread the grains on a towel-lined baking sheet to let them cool and dry. The dried, cooked grains were then fried in small batches in a saucepan of oil. I can tell you the grains want to stick to a spoon both when lowering them into the oil and when removing them from the oil. It helps to have two spoons handy so one can be used for scooping up the grains and the other can be used for scraping grains from the first spoon. After frying, the grains were left to drain on paper towels and sprinkled with salt. This step can be done in advance, and the crisped farro can be left at room temperature. But I did find them a bit addictive and kept reaching back for tastes risking not having enough for the salad. The vinaigrette needs to be started in advance as well since tomato slices need to roast for 30 minutes. Once roasted and cooled, the slices were added to a blender with thyme, white miso, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to be pureed until smooth while olive oil was added. The recipe calls for purslane and arugula, and I was lucky enough to be at the Boggy Creek Farmstand on a day when they had purslane. There was no arugula though, so I used baby mustard greens instead. But, any sturdy, flavorful salad greens would work here. The salad was built by placing tomato slices on a platter and drizzling them with some vinaigrette. Next, the salad greens were tossed with vinaigrette, and they were placed on top of the tomatoes. Last, the crisped farro was sprinkled on top. 

This vinaigrette made me wonder why I’m not putting miso into every salad dressing I make. With the roasted tomato, the big flavors were a great match for salad greens with character. Thankfully, I didn’t snack on every last bit of crisped farro before finishing the salad because the grains added a tasty contrast in texture. This book is for everyone who needs fresh new ideas for all those farmers’ market vegetables. It even has me looking forward to turnip season, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that before. 

Tomato Salad with Crisped Farro, Purslane, Arugula, and Roasted Tomato-Miso Vinaigrette 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson, published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. 

Great tomatoes sprinkled with kosher salt are enough to make me giddy, but when you add an awesome vinaigrette, some wonderfully fresh greens, and the crisp texture of fried farro, then I am over the moon. This is summer. Bring on the front-porch dinners. 

Serves 4 

Kosher salt 
1⁄2 cup farro 
2 cups peanut oil 
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored, halved, and sliced into half-moons 
1⁄3 cup Roasted Tomato–Miso Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 
2 cups fresh purslane 
2 cups arugula leaves 
Freshly ground black pepper 

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, and add 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt and the farro. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the farro until it is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the farro. Spread it out on a large platter lined with paper towels to steam off and drain off as much of the water as possible. 
2. In a large saucepan, heat the peanut oil to 350°F. Add the farro, in batches, and fry until crisp, 1 to 11⁄2 minutes. You want the grains to be crisp but not like little rocks. Remove from the oil and drain on the platter, lined with fresh paper towels. Season with kosher salt to taste. 
3. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a large platter and season them with kosher salt. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the tomatoes. In a large bowl, combine the purslane and the arugula. Dress the greens with the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Place the greens in the center of the platter. Garnish with the crisp farro and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Eat, and eat well. 

Roasted Tomato-Miso Vinaigrette 
Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups 

1 large heirloom tomato 
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 
1 tablespoon white miso paste 
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce 
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
1⁄3 cup olive oil 

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
2. Core the tomato and cut it into thick rounds. Season the tomato slices with the kosher salt and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until the tomato slices are concentrated and very soft. 
3. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. When they have cooled, place them in a blender and add the thyme, miso, soy sauce, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, and then, with the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The dressing will keep for a week in a jar in the fridge. 

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Greek Salad

This is a story of one of the simplest dishes having the most impact. I have this memory of a Greek Salad that I ordered at a restaurant in Palm Desert during one of our trips there. It was my favorite thing I ate that entire trip. Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta makes for such a simple combination that it’s weird that I even remember it. But, it was perfect. When I read my review copy of A Girl and Her Greens, I found myself nodding in agreement with April Bloomfield’s description of her Greek Salad. It starts with fresh, ripe tomatoes and cucumbers, and I have a little thing about fresh cucumbers. Just like tomatoes, farm-fresh, just-picked cucumbers have so much more flavor than anything from the grocery store. And, I love bringing home different varieties of cucumbers. I found two types of cucumbers and several types of tomatoes at Boggy Creek Farm including the red and purple Indigo Rose tomatoes. After you gather the best of those two ingredients, Bloomfield suggests you take the time to cut them into different shapes to make the salad more interesting. Then, those chopped pieces get refrigerated to get them nice and cold. She marinates the onions in vinegar and oil for a few minutes. These little details along with carefully choosing the type of olives and using a good goat feta make this simple salad great. Thoughtful considerations like these are found in all the recipes in the book. I did a similar nodding in agreement as I read the Eggplant Caponata and Piedmontese Peppers with Tomato, Basil, and Anchovy recipes. There’s nothing too difficult here but lots of smart techniques for delicious vegetable dishes. 

So, to make this salad, the chopped cucumbers and tomatoes were placed in separate bowls and refrigerated for 30 minutes. That way, if juice from the tomatoes runs, it won’t get the cucumbers soggy. While those chilled, I sliced red onion into rounds and marinated them in Banyuls vinegar with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt. Separately, a vinaigrette was made with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Once the cucumbers and tomatoes were chilled, they were combined, the lemon vinaigrette was poured over them, and they were gently tossed. There’s mint in this version of the salad, and I’m lucky to have mint growing in front of our rented, temporary home that I can use. I have my own basil in pots, but everyone knows I’m incapable of growing mint myself. I used both herbs in the salad. For olives, Bloomfield uses pitted Nicoise. I like Nicoise olives fine, but meaty Greek olives are my favorites. I used some of both. And, I used our locally made Pure Luck goat feta. To serve the salad, the cucumbers and tomatoes were placed on a plate, the onions were set on top, olives were scattered about with the mint and basil, and feta was crumbled over everything. Last, the remaining liquid from the bowl with the onions was drizzled over the salad. 

Taking care with each step of this salad made it wonderful. The service wasn’t nearly as good as what I remember when I ordered that Greek Salad in Palm Desert and the view from the dining table this time didn’t compare at all, but the flavors, textures, and freshness were just as good if not better. Next up from this book, I have to try a very similar salad that becomes a sandwich filling on thick, white bread. It even inspired me to bake the bread myself. 

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Smoky Chicken Salad with Roast Bell Peppers, Shitake, and Green Beans

Despite the fact that when it comes to meat I only eat fish and fowl, I still own plenty of cookbooks with lots of recipes for red meat. So, with most cookbooks when I arrive at a meat chapter, I imagine coming back to those recipes some day when we have people visiting or maybe when I want to surprise Kurt with a beef dish for his birthday. They become the ‘’sure, maybe, one of these days” recipes. When I started reading my review copy of A Bird in the Hand, I quickly realized how unusual and refreshing it was to have a cookbook in which 100% of the recipes were made with meat that I personally would eat. In Diana Henry’s new book, every single recipe is one I’d want to try. Some are quick and easy for weeknight meals, others are grander for parties, one chapter is just for chicken salads, and another is all comfort foods. There are classics, takes on classics, and chicken dishes from all around the world. I tried the Vietnamese Lemongrass and Chile Chicken made with chopped, boneless chicken thighs, and it was a burst of great flavor. I can’t wait to try the Royal Chicken Korma, the grilled Chicken Piri Piri, and Negima Yakitori skewers. At the end of the book, there’s even a chapter for what to do with leftovers. I’d love to have extra chicken in the refrigerator to use in Chicken, Date, and Lentil Brown Rice Pilaf with Saffron Butter. For the salad posted here, I took a few minor liberties. After marinating the chicken, it could have been cooked under the broiler. Instead, I fired up the grill to add more smoky flavor and roasted the bell pepper on the grill as well. I also used fresh, local green beans rather than the snap peas suggested. The most important part of the recipe was the marinade that was also used in the dressing, and I didn’t change that one bit. 

The marinade was a mix of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, dry vermouth, orange juice, five spice powder, seeds from cardamom pods, minced garlic cloves, and strips of orange zest. Chicken breasts were covered with the marinade and refrigerated for several hours. To use excess marinade for the dressing, it’s later boiled and reduced to a syrup. I actually reduced enough to use for both the dressing and to baste the chicken while grilling. I grilled a bell pepper until charred, let it cool, peeled and seeded it, and cut it into strips. I used green beans and blanched them before draining and rinsing with cold water. Halved shitakes were sauteed in olive oil. The chicken was grilled and basted then allowed to cool before slicing. For the dressing, some reduced marinade was mixed with olive oil, lime juice, and some honey. Typically, when a dressing recipe includes honey or maple syrup, I skip it. Here, a little honey really brought everything into balance nicely. Without it, the dressing was a tad salty. To finish, mixed salad greens were tossed with the sliced chicken, bell pepper, shitakes, green beans, cilantro leaves, and dressing. The plated salads were sprinkled with sesame seeds. 

This is a perfect meal for salad season as I like to call the hot months. The dressing is a nice mix of big flavors that work well with the lingering smokiness of the chicken and peppers. I also discovered that some leftover slices of this chicken were great on a sandwich with more greens. I won’t stop reading all sorts of cookbooks, but I do love knowing that every page of this one is fair game. So to speak. 

Smoky Chicken Salad with Roast Bell Peppers, Shitake, and Sugar Snap Peas 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from A Bird in the Hand

Serves 4 

For the marinade: 
1 tbsp hoisin sauce 
1/3 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup dry vermouth 
1/3 cup orange juice 
1/2 tsp five spice powder 
seeds from 2 cardamom pods, crushed 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
strip of orange zest, white pith removed 

For the salad: 
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 
2 red bell peppers 
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing 
4 oz. sugar snap peas 
16 shitake mushrooms, halved if large 
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
good squeeze lime juice, to taste 
about 1/4 tsp honey, to taste 
5 oz. mixed salad leaves 
small bunch of cilantro (optional) 
1 tbsp sesame seeds 

Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Put the chicken in a dish and pour the marinade evenly over it. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a couple of hours, but ideally 24 because this really will improve the flavor. Bring it to room temperature before cooking. 

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Halve and seed the bell peppers and put them into a small roasting pan. Brush with a little of the regular oil and roast them in the hot oven for about 35 minutes, or until tender and blistered. Once cooked, cut into slices lengthwise. If it looks as though the skin is about to peel off you can remove it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. 

Preheat the broiler to high. Lift the chicken out of the marinade and put it on a foil-covered broiler rack (the foil really just helps make it easier to clean later). Cook under the hot broiler for 12 minutes (6 on each side), brushing every so often with the marinade. 

Cook the sugar snap peas in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and run cold water over them. Heat the tablespoon of regular oil in a skillet and quickly saute the shitake mushrooms until they are golden. 

Reduce the marinade by boiling until it is syrupy. To make the dressing, mix 3 tablespoons of the reduced marinade with the 3 tablespoons of virgin oil, a good squeeze of lime juice, and a little honey (both to taste). Slice the chicken diagonally and toss with the leaves, the warm dressing, strips of bell pepper, sugar snaps, shitakes, and cilantro, if using. Throw on the sesame seeds and serve. 

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tomato Leaf Pesto

Tomato season is in full swing here in Austin, and I’ve been bringing home as many as the two of us can consume. A tomato is possibly the easiest type of produce to put to good use in the kitchen, but I had no idea that the leaves of the plant can be used as well. I received a review copy of the new book The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly and learned about eating tomato leaves and a few other ways to use even more of edible plants. The goal of the book is to share ideas for using every bit of what shows up in a CSA box including the less popular vegetables. But, it’s also a great reference for gardeners who have entire plants at their disposal. I’ve eaten sweet potato leaves when they show up in our CSA in late summer, but I didn’t know leaves from pepper plants are edible too. And, entire squash plants are edible from the vines and leaves to the blossoms, vegetables, and seeds. Now I want to grow my own so I can make Sicilian Squash Shoot Soup. There’s even a recipe for Quick-Pickled Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Radish Pods which appear after the plant flowers. Not all the recipes are for such unusual parts of the plant though. There’s also Rosemary-Roasted Carrots, Carrot Top Salsa, Green Onion Pancakes, and Fennel Apple and Celery Slaw to name a few. But, let’s get back to those tomato leaves. I’ve always loved the smell of tomato vines and leaves, and I couldn’t wait to try a pesto made with the leaves. We all know that I can’t grow tomatoes myself to save my life, but Springdale Farm was kind enough to let me purchase some leaves from their plants. They suggested Brandywine tomato leaves since they have a nice-looking shape, and I was thrilled to take them home and turn them into pesto. I also took home several of their tomatoes to serve with the pesto. 

I am capable of growing some herbs, and I do have a few pots with basil plants. This pesto is made with a mix of basil leaves and tomato leaves. The rest of the ingredients are the usual suspects in traditional pesto. Pine nuts were toasted, Parmigiano Reggiano was grated, garlic was peeled and chopped, and extra virgin olive oil was ready to be added. Everything was pulsed in a food processor. I liked the suggestion in the book of using this pesto in a take on Caprese salad. I sliced some fresh mozzarella from Full Quiver, topped the cheese with fresh tomatoes, and spooned the pesto over them. I had a few extra tomato leaves to use to decorate the platter. 

As usual, Kurt was suspicious of this new spin on a classic recipe. He wasn’t sure the tomato leaves would be a welcome ingredient in pesto. All concerns were forgotten when he tasted it though. The flavor is like a traditional basil pesto with an added, herby dimension. It was fresh and delicious as part of a Caprese. If I ever attempt to grow tomatoes again, now I know I can at least eat the leaves if no fruit appears on the vines. And, I have lots of new ideas for other plants too. 

Speaking of tomato season, I've been helping plan a Tomato Dinner to be held at Springdale Farm this Tuesday, June 9. The dinner will benefit Springdale Center for Urban Agriculture and Slow Food Austin. Tickets are still available. The participating chefs are planning some incredible dishes for this feast on the farm.

Tomato Leaf Pesto 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The CSA Cookbook

When I think of summer bounties, I think of basil and tomatoes—the poster children for the season. Something about the sweet, savory, and ever-so-slightly peppery aroma of basil makes a fruity, subtly smoky, vine-ripened tomato sing. When you combine both of their characteristics into an otherwise traditional pesto, the result is a sauce that is unmistakably basil-scented, but with a note of warm and earthy tomato leaf. 

Slather it on a thick slice of mozzarella for a different take on the classic Caprese salad. 

Makes 1 Cup 
2 cups packed fresh basil 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1/3 cup packed tomato leaves 
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 
3 garlic cloves 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil 

Add the basil, Parmesan, tomato leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and salt to a food processor and pulse until crumbly, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Continue pulsing and add the oil in a steady stream until well blended. Use 1/4 cup oil for a thicker paste or up to 1/2 cup oil for a thinner sauce.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Blogging tips