Besides caprese salad, capris pants, flip flops, and sunburned shoulders, another summer classic not to be left out is basil pesto pasta. Or basil pesto anything. There the basil is – swaying in the garden, or sprouting in the window box, or bursting as a simple bouquet on the green grocer’s shelf. Use me now, it seems to say, because you’ll miss me when I’m gone.
My mom has made pesto every summer that I can remember. The master of winging it in the kitchen, it is hard to anticipate what Mom’s pesto batch will taste like. Sometimes it is sharp, or sweet, or bitter. But it always says fresh, as in right now.
I prefer predictability when it comes to pesto, even though the best cooks and chefs will say an adventuresome spirit is exactly what you need in kitchen. Search the Web and you’ll find no two pesto recipes alike. But I have one that I turn to again, and again, and again, like a loyal, boring friend. It includes parsley, which tempers the basil in my opinion, and not too much garlic. I won’t disappoint you, it whispers between the ingredients. OK, I’m joking. It doesn’t really say that. (more…)