This dish is the perfect summer side.  It’s easy, colorful, make-ahead and, most importantly, delicious!  I like to pack it up and take along to the beach or on a picnic, serve alongside ribs, or make a batch to take into work to have for lunch for the week.  If enjoying for lunch, you could add shredded chicken, or boiled shrimp, to make it a little more hearty, or serve alongside a summer soup or salad.

cousWhat’s your go-to summer salad?

Easy Peasy Pesto

August 30, 2012

Pesto is such a flavorful condiment, I honestly don’t know why I don’t make it more often.  The variations on this basic recipe are endless and the fact that there’s no cooking involved in preparing it, makes it perfect for whipping up on a hot summer day.  It’s so versatile it can be used on pasta, fish or even a burger.

Tell me, what do you like to serve your pesto on?

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Pesto spread on wheat buns for Portabello Paninis

Basil Pesto

printable recipe

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and continue processing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize in May, we shared a delicious bowl of gazpacho at the Blue Water Grill.  It was our final night on the island before heading inland to San Ignacio –what a delicious choice for our  last meal! The refreshingly cool bowl of soup was welcome on the palate after a long hot day at the beach.  As soon as we returned home I immediately searched, and found, an amazing recipe for the chilled appetizer by Ina Garten.  This has definitely made it to the list of summer staples!

P.S.Be sure to check out more #BeatTheHeat recipes listed below from fellow members of the #SundaySupper community!

Gazpacho garnished with mango

Gazpacho

Printable recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, halved and seeded, not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, I’ve alo used Vidalia, which is a sweet substitution
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Mott’s Low Sodium Garden Blend tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Garnish – fresh avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya, cubed

Directions

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped for a chunky soup.  Blend longer for a smoother version (we prefer chunky). After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill overnight before serving. Garnish with ripe avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya.

#BeatTheHeat Appetizers:

#BeatTheHeat Salads, Soups, & Sides:

#BeatTheHeat Main Dishes:

#BeatTheHeat Desserts:

#BeatTheHeat Drinks & Cocktails:

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