Friday, July 30, 2010

It's a good day to make pesto

From my book, Summer: A User's Guide

This fresh basil sauce is perfect for spreading on grilled toasts, mixing into warm pasta, as a pizza topping, or to add flavor to Italian soups.

4 cups fresh basil leaves, well packed
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
1-cup pine nuts or walnuts (or a combination of the two), lightly toasted if you prefer.
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or a combination of the two)
1 – 1 ½ cups olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place basil leaves, garlic and nuts in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add cheese and pulse until combined. While machine is still running, slowly add olive oil and salt and pepper.

Store pesto in an airtight container with a thin coating of olive oil on top to keep the sauce from turning brown. Pesto will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week. If you want to freeze batches of pesto, omit the cheese; you can add it once it’s thawed.

Makes about 3-½ cups

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sweet idea!

Love this clever idea that turns plain old ho-hum matchboxes into summery gift boxes for tiny treasures. From Tales from an OC Cottage.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thank you BH&G

A big shout out to Better Homes and Gardens for including my Summerology blog in their August issue. Get to their website riiiiight here....

+ get to Summerology here! (what took you so long?)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quick Pickled Veggies

I'm making pickled cukes today, but feel free to pickle whatever crunchiness your garden throws at ya; carrots, green beans, beets, radishes, celery, or cauliflower all work just fine.

Quick Refrigerator Pickled Veggies (PRINT RECIPE CARD)
Makes 1 pint (but I always triple the recipe)

Cleaned fresh veggies
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 clove of garlic, halved
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3-4 sprigs of dill
water (add last to top off jar)

Optional if you want your pickled veggies with a kick: Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and/or 1 hot pepper (jalapeno, habanero or Serrano)

Add all of the ingredients to clean jar, seal, then shake gently to combine ingredients. Refrigerate for a few days until the vegetables absorb all the pickling flavors. (Note: If you opted for spicy and they start to get too spicy, simply remove the hot pepper.)

Pickled veggies will stay in the fridge for 2-3 months.