BellaVitano Pesto with Almonds and Fresh Basil – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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BellaVitano Pesto with Almonds and Fresh Basil

DSC_0004 (2)Summer garden bounty is in full swing here in Northeast Georgia. My herbs are growing like weeds and I have been harvesting and drying them for the winter. I have become addicted to iced mint tea.

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:

Ingredients:DSC_0001 (2)

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

DSC_0006 (2)Preparation:

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.

Our last summer giveaway starts later this week: we’ll be giving away a trio of Kelly’s Jelly, a trio of 34° Crisps, a tub of BelGioioso Burrata and a selection of Creminelli’s Fine Meats.

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