Summer is officially in full swing, my favorite parts of the day are the lengthy, warm days that seep well into evening hours. Although I adore these summer nights, summer mornings are just as lovely. My weekend mornings are now reserved for walks at the local farmer’s market, browsing and shopping the most fresh ingredients inspires my weekend menu and eats. Browsing through the stands filled with local, fresh as could be ingredients, always sparks my creative side and inspires me to jump into the kitchen and create something that highlights these seasonal ingredients. Walking into the farmer’s market with no plan for dinner that night, a bush of fresh basil instantly screamed fresh, garlicky pesto to me, bright green artichokes begged me to pair it with a creamy aioli, and ripe peaches and berries were unmistakably the perfect answer to an ending for our dinner.
Pungent, Basil Pesto: These bold flavors become the star of any dish. Add to angel hair pasta (like I did with this one), or top with any grilled fish, or even top onto crostini for a quick appetizer
The perfect ending to a summer meal, a fresh fruit crumble, recipe here.
Sea-salt Roasted Artichoke with Classic Aioli
What better to accompany sea-salt roasted artichokes than a creamy, indulgent aioli? A fresh vegetable paired with an indulgent dip, creates a flawless balance. Aioli is really so simple, don’t be intimidated by making this creamy confection from scratch, it is definitely worth it. As long as you remember the main rule: whisk like your life depends on it, your aioli will turn out velvety and full of flavor.
2 whole artichokes
freshly cracked black pepper
Blanch the artichokes, whole into a pot of boiling, salted water, for about 7-10 minutes or until tender. Shock the artichokes in ice water. Dry, cut in half and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the artichokes with olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, then place in a 425 F oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
1 egg yolk
1 tsp dijon
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
In a mixing bowl, place over a sauce pot with a kitchen towel draped over (this will prevent your bowl from sliding everywhere and keep it on place when your whisking like crazy). Place the bowl at an angle, then add the egg yolk, dijon, lemon juice and pepper. On a cutting board, smash the garlic with the side of a knife and sprinkle on a bit of salt. Smash the garlic and salt together with the side of your knife, until the garlic and salt create somewhat of a paste. Give a quick chop to make sure everything is broken up and add this garlic mixture to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Now, begin whisking! Slowly begin adding the olive oil, starting with a small drizzle of about 2 tbsp. at a time, then you can add a bit quicker. *Just make sure to add the olive oil in a steady, slow stream.
*You can also use a food processor and add the olive oil through the feed. This is a way to ensure the emulsion will most likely not break.
*If the emulsion breaks (looks like the oil is separating from the other ingredients), simply add a tablespoon of cold water and whisk, this should bring the emulsion back together.
These bold flavors become the star of any dish. Add to angel hair pasta (like I did with this one), or top on any grilled fish, or even onto crostini for a quick appetizer.
3 bunches fresh basil
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you could also use Pecorino)
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste (add salt after pesto is made, as there may be no need for salt because of the salt already in the cheese)
Combine all ingredients, except olive oil and salt, into a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together. With the food processor on, begin adding the olive oil in a constant, steady stream. Add salt to taste.