Summer: the time for Pesto- Litsa!

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis on. Posted in My thoughts, Recipes

Pesto, Pasta, and Summer – What an Amazing Trio!

Basil is an aromatic herb with so many uses, and it’s in full bloom now,

pesto

Summer: the time for Pesto-Litsa!

its aroma is calling out loud and clear: touch me, squeeze me, and get a whiff of how nice I smell!

 The growing pots are bursting with basil’s rich green foliage, and they beautiful to look at!

 

In Greece, basil has an intense aroma and flavor because there’s no rain for months and months, just sunshine day after day, so nothing washes the flavor and aroma away.

Everything has a wonderful smell – the roses, the jasmine, and the evening primrose that only releases its aroma in the evening hours – and gives you so much pleasure.

Herbs, nuts, cheese, and olive oil are the basic ingredients for a perfect pesto.

The summer heat in the Mediterranean is really strong, and it demands light cooking, Pesto is just that – you cook your pasta al dente and make a wonderful pesto with the ingredients available.

When you think of pesto you automatically think of green pesto, but did you know that pesto can be red? Yes, if you use roasted red peppers! It’s delicious and just as easy to make if you have the red peppers available.

Pesto is very healthy and you can use it in many ways – on bread, salads, and baked potatoes. The ingredients are perfect for marinating fish and chicken. Now that the herbs are in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to make a large quantity and freeze it in individual portions. You can keep some in the refrigerator: it keeps well, especially if you add a layer of olive oil on top to prevent discoloration.

Just one thing to remember: use it sparingly, because it’s very strong in flavor.

Basic pesto recipe:

  • Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch of basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or according to your taste
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds, roasted
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, and, if you like, a few red pepper flakes

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whir it up until it becomes a thick paste.  If your pesto is too thick, add a little more olive oil.

Have a wonderful summer,

Litsa!

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Litsa Bolontzakis

Litsa Bolontzakis

Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

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