I'm having some today, and thought I'd share. First, I'm making Cafe Borgia. I've grated orange peel into the coffee grounds called Cinnadoodle, making that double strength and combining it 1:1 with chocolate milk. I got a free container of Nesquick at the store today. For summer, pour over ice, add whipped cream if you like. This isn't an official recipe or anything, just an idea of the moment.
Then I'm making basil lemon pistou, and a white bean dip, and I have already made a tomato topping, for bruschetta. Since the rest of the family won't just eat bread dipped in stuff and be satisfied that it's dinner, I'm also making zucchini fritters.
The pistou recipe is from a book called Mediterranean Cooking, and the bean dip is from oh, everywhere, probably. You're on your own for tomato topping, but I just added, um, basil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Also, I wrote this for my old blog, so if you saw that, you've seen this.
Why pistou, you ask? Well, it's francais for a kind of pesto! in the original version, there's no cheese, and there are never nuts, so it would not really be called pesto by the, um, basil-garlic sauce pedants of the world.
Thing about pistou, just like pesto, is that you can pretty much do whatever you like to it, beyond the basic requirements of basil, olive oil, and garlic. with a tetch of salt. hey, you know how salt is mad cheap? Go for broke, spend a dollar more, and get sea salt. It's brighter, somehow, in flavor.
Why do I know this stuff? honey, I just do. I make it my business to know! Actually, I just read a lot of cookbooks. Pistou is also used in brothy soup.
You may substitute another variety of basil for the lemon, as long as it's basically basil in aroma. If you do, add the zest of an entire lemon, instead of the weensy bit called for here.
And you may substitute parmiggiano for asiago. I'd recommend leaving out the salt if you do. Asiago is my personal preference for nearly anything that calls for parmiggiano.
You will note my proportions are not exact. That is how I do things.
We eat this stuff on fried things, like eggplant or salmon cakes. You may use it with pasta.
Oh--use it right away, really. You can frig it, and just stir the oil back in for use, for a couple of days? But it's not as nice.
Take about 2 cups of basil leaves (packed in pretty well,) and chop at them for a little while. Then add them to a mortar. (What is this you call food processor? Okay, you can use it, but I arch my eye at you like this--.) Add 4 cloves of peeled, squashed garlic (you may use the equivalent from a jar) and a pinch of sea salt.
Commence pounding. Or pulsing, if you take that route. When a paste is formed, put it in a bowl that's the size you like to work in. Like, medium. (Always use a slightly larger bowl than the one you think you need. Just trust me on that. ) Or leave it in the food processor.
Add a cup of well-grated asiago cheese, and either a couple of pinches of lemon zest, or a whole lemon's worth, depending on your basil. stir, pound, pulse, or otherwise blend. (You can grate it through the food processor, if you want to switch blades back and forth, but be careful not to have it set too high. And the cheese really does have to come in after the basil and garlic.)
Finally, add between 1/2-2/3 cups of good olive oil. You will stream this in a little at a time and stir, if you're being old-fashioned and time-consuming like me, or stream it in while the machine is blending on low, if you're everyone else.
Check the texture after 1/2 cup, because you may want to keep it that way. The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup.
I promise I will not tell a soul, if, after you've tasted the pistou, you wish to add a bit of freshly-grated black pepper.
For the bean dip, drain and smash one 10 oz can of garbanzo or white beans, and add a healthy teaspoon of chopped garlic, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend it together well, and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
We sliced different kinds of bread, dabbed a bit of olive oil and sea salt on them, and baked them, then dipped them in the bean stuff. You could leave off the olive oil. We only used a tiny bit.
Do you want to know how to make zucchini fritters? You have to start about 2 hours early. This is also from the Mediterranean Cooking book.
Grate 1 lb of zucchini into a strainer, sprinkle it with salt, let it sit for one hour, then rinse throroughly, and dry on paper towels.
Sift 2/3 cup flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, add 1 egg yolk, and 2/3 cup oil. Measure out 5 tbs of water, and add a little to the bowl. Beat the egg yolk and oil, gradually incorporating the flour and water to make a smooth batter. Season (salt, pepper, etc.) and let sit for 30 minutes.
Stir the zucchini into the batter, beat your leftover egg white until stuff, then fold into the batter.
Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan. Add spoonfuls of batter to the oil and fry for 2 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towels, serve with pistou, or another sauce.