Herbed Summer Succotash

Herbed Summer Succotash
Gourmet | August 1999

1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices)
1 pound fresh shell beans in pod or
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pints)
4 ears corn
1 small Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
1 large garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 1/4 cup packed small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed small fresh arugula leaves

In a skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet and set skillet aside.

Shell fresh beans if using. In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook beans, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15-20 minutes. In a sieve drain beans and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.

Cut larger cherry tomatoes in half. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut corn kernels from cobs. Chop onion and mince garlic.
Add oil to bacon fat in skillet and cook onion over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and vinegar and cook, stirring, until tomatoes just begin to lose their shape. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in beans and half of bacon. Cool succotash to room temperature and gently stir in basil, arugula, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve succotash spooned over focaccia or other crusty bread and sprinkled evenly with remaining bacon.

Sauteed Zucchini with Feta and Basil

Sauteed Zucchini with Feta and Basil

This is like ratatoulli without the eggplant- works good as a casserole if you want to throw it into a dish and top with the feta and breadcrumbs.

1/4 c olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 large zucchini, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 c black olives, chopped -nicoise or calamatas
2-3 Tbls chopped fresh basil
Crushed red pepper flakes (of course)
1/2 c chopped tomato- seeds removed
1/2 c crumbled feta

In sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic, add the zucchini and olives and cook on med high until soft. Add the tomatoes, cook 2-3 minutes until heated through. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red. Toss with crumbled feta and chopped oregano. Serve as is, or finish it in the oven at 350° until the breadcrumbs brown up a bit, 20–30 minutes.

Pesto

Pesto

from Jamie’s Dinners by Jamie Oliver
1/2 clove of garlic, chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 good handfulls of fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped
a handfull of pinenuts, very lightly toasted
a good handful of freshly grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil

Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a food procesor. Add a bit more garlic if you like. Add the pinenuts to the mixture and pound again. Turn out into a bowl and add half the parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency. Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese. Keep adding more oil and cheese until you are happy.

Potato Gratin with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes

Potato Gratin with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick or less
Table salt and ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry vermouth
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaf
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced thin
3 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub bottom and sides of 5- to 6-cup gratin dish or shallow baking dish with garlic. Mince remaining garlic and set aside. Once garlic in dish has dried, about 2 minutes, spread dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

Heat remaining oil in medium saucepan and sauté on- ion and reserved garlic until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, vermouth, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, basil, and cayenne (if desired).

Pour half of potato mixture into prepared dish; top with bell pepper. Add remaining potato mixture and cover with tomatoes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Shake dish or use fork to distribute potatoes evenly. Gently press down potatoes until submerged in liquid.
Bake, basting once or twice, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and continue baking until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

Basil or Cilantro Pesto

Basil or Cilantro Pesto

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
3 medium cloves garlic , threaded on a skewer
2 cups packed basil or cilantro leaves, rinsed thoroughly
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch table salt
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Toast nuts in small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.Place all ingredients except cheese(s) in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down bowl with flexible spatula. Transfer mixture to small bowl, stir in cheese(s), adjust salt, and serve over 1 pound of cooked and drained pasta.

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup with Basil

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup with Basil

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds tomatoes, quartered (3 medium tomatoes)
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 3/4 cups (about) low-fat (1%) milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange onion, tomatoes, carrots and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Peel garlic cloves. Transfer vegetables to large bowl (do not clean baking sheet).

Add 1 cup water to baking sheet, scraping up browned bits; add to blender, then add half of vegetables and puree until smooth. Transfer to large saucepan. Add remaining vegetables and 1 1/2 cups water to blender and puree. Transfer to same saucepan. Gradually add enough milk to soup to thin to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup basil. Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil and serve.

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon English dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 large vine-ripened tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese (preferrably fresh), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thin

In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. On a platter arrange tomato slices alternately with mozzarella and top with basil. Drizzle salad with vinaigrette.

Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives

Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives

5 large tomatoes (about 3 pounds), cored, sliced
1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 ounces feta cheese (about 1 generous cup), crumbled
1/3 cup brine-cured olives, preferably Kalamata (optional)

Overlap tomato and onion slices on large platter. Whisk oil, vinegar, parsley and garlic in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours, basting occasionally with dressing. Sprinkle salad with cheese and garnish with olives, if desired.

Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic and Basil

Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we never peel and seed ours for something like this, why bother)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt
1 pound pasta, penne, rigatoni and fusilli work well

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and the garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; increase the heat to medium-high and cook until any liquid given off by the tomatoes evaporates and the tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and salt to taste; cover to keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water and drain pasta. Transfer the drained pasta back to the cooking pot. Add the reserved water, tomato sacue and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss well to combine, serve immediately.

Variations: In our house we make some variant of this dish at least once a week in the summer. When we have sweet corn we usually will cut the kernels off of 2 or 3 cobs and add them with the tomatoes to cook. Many times we will make this recipe and not cook the tomatoes at all, just add them to the oil and garlic and turn the pan off. We also always end a recipe like this with some sort of cheese, a fresh mozzarella is a good choice, but a nice paremesan is equally as good.

Bread Salad with Tomatoes, Herbs and Red Onion

Bread Salad with Tomatoes, Herbs and Red Onion

1 pound day-old coarse peasant bread, crusts removed, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes, about 6 cups
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb. total), cored, seeded and cut into medium dice
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
2 teaspoons whole fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Place the bread cubes in a shallow bowl. Mix the oil, vinegar, tomatoes, onion and half of the herbs together in a medium bowl. Let stand to allow the flavors to develop, about 10 minutes. Pour the dressing over the bread, add the remaining herbs, and toss well. Season with the salt and pepper, adding more or less to taste. If the bread still seems dry, sprinkle it with 1 to 2 tablespoons water to soften it a bit and toss again. Serve. From The New Best Recipe

Basil Green Beans

Basil Green Beans

1 1/2 pounds green beans
2 T. butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 T. freshly chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut large beans into pieces 2 or 3 inches long. Drop them by handfuls into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook at a full boil, uncovered, until they’re slightly resilient to the tooth. Start tasting them after 3 or 4 minutes, although they may well take longer to cook. When they’re done, drain them, shake dry, and spread on a towel. Toss with butter, taste for salt, season with pepper, and toss with the herbs.

Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

2 pounds red potatoes, boiled until just tender when pokesd with a knife, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup packed, washed and spun dry arugula leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmeasan
1 garlic clove, crushed

Cook the potatoes, slice and cool them slightly. In a blender purée the arugula with the nuts, the oil, the Parmesan, the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, add the pesto to the potatoes, and combine the salad well. You could also add some sliced radishes to this dish.

Pesto

Pesto

1 or 2 plump garlic cloves
Salt
3 T. pine nuts
3 c. loosely packed washed basil leaves, stems removed
_ c. freshly grated Parmesan
_ c. extra virgin olive oil
_ c. loosely packed parsley (optional)
3 T. grated pecorino Romano (optional)

Process all but the cheeses in a food processor until smooth. Add the cheeses and process just until combined. Toss with pasta, spread on toast, use as the base for pizzas, etc. etc.

Vegetable Risotto w/ Walnut Pesto

Here’s a good recipe that a member sent in which uses a lot of different vegetables. You could easily substitute other veggies for the peas and asparagus.

Vegetable Risotto w/ Walnut Pesto

1/2 cup walnuts and/or pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
8 oz green beans, cut to 1/2-inch
1-2 summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
8-16 thin asparagus stalks, cut to 1/2-inch
1/2 c. shelled peas
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 tbs olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 cups spinach, chopped

Toast the walnuts and/or pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat or in the oven (@375) on a cookie sheet. Allow to cool. In a blender or food processor, blend together the fresh garlic and walnuts/pine nuts. Add the other four ingredients and blend until fairly smooth. Set aside or store in the refrigerator. In a medium pot, bring 3-4 cups water to a boil. Add carrots. Cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Add beans, squash, peas, and/or any other vegetable you are using. Bring to a boil again, cook for about 1 minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Warm the stock in a saucepan without letting it boil and set that aside. In a large pan or pot, warm the oil. Add the leak and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the rice and mix to coat with oil. Add 1/2 cup of warmed stock at a time, stirring until it is mostly absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup. Continue at a low simmer until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Add the salt and spinach, mixing until the spinach has wilted. Add in the other vegetables. Serve right away, topped with a spoonful of pesto.