Classic Basil Pesto

Toss it on pasta, add it to salad dressings, drizzle over heirloom tomatoes—the possibilities are endless with this classic sauce!

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
½ cup freshly grated Grana-style cheese
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Method:
1. Combine basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down any basil caught on the sides of the bowl. Then, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, and then transfer to a small bowl.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil-Pesto Vinaigrette and Fresh Mozzarella

A beautiful twist on the classic Caprese salad!

Ingredients:
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into thick rounds
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thick rounds
Toasted pine nuts and freshly-chopped basil leaves (optional)

For basil-pesto vinaigrette:
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cups lightly packed basil
¼ cup shredded Grana-style cheese
3 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Method:

1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

2. On a serving platter, arrange the tomato slices and mozzarella cheese rounds in an alternating pattern. Drizzle with the pesto vinaigrette and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with additional toasted pine nuts and additional chopped basil as desired.

Arugula Pesto

Stash this bright, zippy pesto in your freezer to add to the likes of pastas, soups or even grilled vegetables.

Ingredients:
4 cups arugula
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 cup olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, garlic, arugula, Parmesan, and about 1 teaspoon salt and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil through the food tube in a slow, steady stream and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Garlic-Sautéed Kale Rapini

Rich and vibrant, beautiful kale rapini is seasoned with fresh garlic in this appealing side dish.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch kale rapini
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once boiling, drop the rapini into the water to quickly blanch the greens (this will only take a minute, the dark greens will become a brighter green once softened).

2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, sautéing until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove kale rapini greens from the pot and place directly into the sauté pan, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients together. Once greens are almost fully wilted, about 1-2 minutes, remove from the heat and serve.

Variation: This dish is also delightful with the addition of ¼ cup raisins, 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts and a splash of balsamic vinegar once the kale is sautéed with the garlic; serve warm or at room temperature.

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