My basil plants are flourishing in the warm summer sun, so it’s time to make a lot of Italian food. I love pesto, and find it’s the perfect summer pasta sauce, since it goes so nicely with seasonal vegetables. However, I also like to include a big source of protein, such as legumes, with my meals. A simple bean salad works perfectly along side pesto. Both recipes utilize fresh herbs and produce from the garden. In addition, both recipes are incredibly simple – perfect for lazy summer afternoons.
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves (for my last batch, I used half lemon basil – it was a delicious flavor!)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons miso
- Optional: 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (this helps keep the pesto’s original color – I did not use when using lemon basil)
Process all ingredients in a food processor. Store extra pesto in small containers (I use small jam jars) in the freezer.
I like to toss the pesto with pasta and sautéed vegetables.
White Bean Salad
- 2 14.5 ounce cans of white beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs – I use a lot! (Use plenty of basil, and try also including parsley, thyme, oregano, and/0r marjoram)
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of vinegar (such as red wine or balsamic) or lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill and serve!