Harvest Your Herbs For Easy Appetizers
Basil Pesto Recipe
• 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.
* Top softened block of cream cheese with Pesto Mixture. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve with favorite Crackers.
* You can also google Giada's Pesto Sauce.
• 3 cups assorted green and black olives
• 2 rosemary sprigs, cut in half
• Zest of 1 orange, cut into long, thin
• 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1⁄4 tsp. dried chili flakes
• Salt, to taste
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, combine the olives, rosemary, orange zest, olive oil, chili flakes and salt and toss to coat. Transfer the olive mixture to a small tapas pan and bake until the olives are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
CROSTINI WITH GORGONZOLA, CARAMELIZED ONIONS & FIG JAM
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (optional)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
24 (1-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup fig jam, heated a little bit in the microwave to soften it up
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1. Caramelize the onions: Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 20 minutes or until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. While onion cooks, add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup at a time, to keep onion from sticking to pan.
3. Assemble the Crostini: Spread 1 teaspoon cheese over each baguette slice. Top each slice with about 1 teaspoon onion mixture and 1 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves.
*You should be able to find fig jam in your market's jam/jelly aisle, and it can also be found in specialty food shops.
*Feta may be substituted for gorgonzola.