In addition, Caprese sandwiches have been on the menu several times a week using our fresh basil, fresh CSA heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on freshly baked baguettes.
Today, I decided to go a different route and make a pesto using the fresh basil from my herb garden. The classic Pesto recipe incorporates fresh basil, garlic and EVOO with pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano. I rarely have pine nuts in my kitchen but I always have almonds, pecans and walnuts. I was also down to the rind of my Parmigiano Reggiano but thanks to the good folks at Sartori, I did have a wedge of BellaVitano Espresso in my cheese drawer. I chose almonds to use this time and the BellaVitano for my cheese. Bella has notes of parmesan in its flavor profile, so I was sure it would be a perfect substitute. After tasting the finished product, I’ll be using BellaVitano going forward. The espresso added a new depth that married well with the almonds and basil.
Here’s what I did:
1 Garlic Clove – peeled and chopped coarsely
3/4 Cup whole almonds – toasted
2 Cups of fresh basil – packed well in the cup
1 Cup shredded Sartori’s Bellavitano Espresso
3/4 Cup EVOO
Pulse garlic clove and almonds until well chopped
Add basil, cheese and EVOO and pulse until well combined, maintaining a chopped look – not to the point of a puree.
Taste and season as needed.