My wife, Shanna, and I went wine tasting with a few friends this weekend. It was a long planned trip up to Malibu Wines where they have an outdoor tasting room with picnic tables, live music and a beautiful setting in the Santa Monica Mountains off Mulholland Hwy. We were lucky that we had a little local global warming this weekend, as it's been quite cold here in sunny California.
I thought Peter's Pesto Genovese recipe over some pasta and grilled chicken would be a great addition to our wine picnic.
Here are some photos of my pesto adventure. It turned out to be a perfect addition to our day.
I love pesto. Although it's not technically "light", it feels like a nice light sauce, that enhances a dish, or meal, as opposed to taking it over. How can you go wrong with these ingredients: Fresh Basil, Olive Oil, Toasted Pine Nuts, Garlic, a little lemon juice and of course the seasoning dynamic duo - Salt & Pepper?!
I'm not a trained chef, unless watching Molto Mario, BBQ with Bobby Flay among other great cooking shows, somehow counts as "training"! But, I do love to cook and eat. I have found that I can tell pretty much off the bat if I'm going to like a recipe simply by looking at the ingredients. It's all about the ingredients. This is why so many great chefs always keep very close to their food sources getting to know their local farmers, fish mongers, butchers etc. Once again, I'll refer back to Mario Batali here and say that is probably the single most important thing I take
away from his shows and cooking - great ingredients will make great food.
Fresh Basil, Lemon and Garlic. Lots of Garlic! When you toast anything it's just better!
A trip through the food processor and then I added in the rest of the Whole Pine Nuts, a "little" Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.
The addition of the whole Pine Nuts and a portion of the parmesan cheese added at the end really gave the pesto that additional layer or texture that worked so well on my pasta.
I didn't take many photos while I was busy at the wine tasting, but you can see here that I added one more layer to the dish. I'm a salted pork fanatic - and somewhere along the way - like the famous Reese's Pieces commercials used to say "Hey! You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" I got some sopressata salami involved with the pesto pasta. And, let me just say it was a great connection...which gives me a few ideas for my next pizza.
*If anyone beats me to the punch on this let me know what you come up with and send some photos to us at