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Pistachio Pesto Recipe

If you haven’t peaked into your garden lately, you’ll likely find it blooming with basil! Which means one thing — it’s time for a million batches of fresh, homemade pesto. (Also see these 12 tips for making your most perfect pesto) The only thing I don’t dig about making basil is those pricey pine nuts. For this recipe, we’re going to skip them and add a slightly more cost saving nut — the pistachio. Plus, if you’re like me, I’m way more willing to just pop a few pistachios in my mouth as a snack. Pine nut leftovers? They might just go to waste. Pistachios pair perfectly with a traditional pesto recipe. They add their slightly sweet, rich nutty flavor. And as with any pesto recipe, this one is quick, easy, and mixes up perfectly in a food processor or even a blender if that’s all you have. Brush it…

Caprese salad 10 different ways

Caprese salad is a summer must-make kind of dish… But no really. Without all of these Caprese salad recipes, how will you ever use up all of your fresh, home grown tomatoes? You already know how to slice tomatoes and mozzarella, so here are some other ideas for when you want to have a little fun with the classic. 1. Caprese pasta salad You favorite ingredients tossed with your favorite pasta also requires a glass of your favorite chilled wine. Cool and refreshing salad recipe. 2. Caprese garlic bread Serve as a side dish or eat all on its own. Get the recipe. 3.  caprese summer rolls Roasted tomatoes take these summer rolls to the next level. Get the recipe here.  4. caprese pizza Caprese. Pizza. Need we say more? Make one tonight. 5. strawberry caprese skewers Swap out strawberries for tomatoes in this interesting and tasty twist on Caprese. Make…

12 tips for makings the best pesto

Pesto is a simple and delicious summer staple. Without it, think of all the basil that would go to waste! But the trouble with this sauce it doesn’t always go so well. Here are 12 tips for how you can make your most perfect pesto. 1. Clean your greens Always, always, always be sure your basil is washed really well before you begin. You don’t want any gritty dirt in your pesto. Wash your basil using cold water — never warm. Warm water wilts greens. Use a salad spinner to get your leaves really dry or gently pat them between layers of kitchen towels to remove all of the moisture. 2. Make it a mix Don’t think you have to stick to just basil. You can add other leafy greens to give your basil a distinct flavor. Replace some of your basil with parsley instead for a lighter flavor, or try arugula…

Watermelon and whipped feta bruschetta bites

When it comes to summer snacks, watermelon is definitely my go-to ingredient. I use it in everything from sweet popsicles and smoothies to savory salads and spicy salsas. Here’s yet another watermelon recipe that’s bound to become a summertime staple. It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy — you’ve really got to try it for yourself. The watermelon makes a deliciously unexpected substitute for tomatoes in this classic recipe. Watermelon and whipped feta bruschetta bites Ingredients 2.5 cups seedless watermelon, finely chopped 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup ricotta cheese 7-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped 2 tbsp chives, chopped 1 baguette, cut into 3/4″-1″ slices Pepper Balsamic glaze 2 tbsp honey Directions Slice baguette and place slices on a baking sheet. Toast under a broiler for a few minutes, or until lightly crispy. In a food processor, combine feta crumbles and ricotta. Whip until the mixture is smooth. Spread the whipped…

Caprese Summer Rolls are the newest must-have recipe for warm weather days

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Caprese Salad. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and soft mozzarella is a recipe that doesn’t need much improvement. But when you just can’t get enough of the Italian trio, it is fun to experiment with other ways to enjoy these classic ingredients. Welcome your first summer produce haul with these light and refreshing hand-held bits of sunshine. Roasting the tomatoes amps up their flavor and can make these spring rolls feel like more of a meal. Also, if you have trouble finding super thin rice noodles, you can always substitute with Romaine lettuce. The lettuce will nicely fill out the roll, soak up the dressing, and give your rolls a nice crunchy bite. If you’re new to working with rice paper, here are a few tips: Fill a pie pan with room temperature water. Soak wrappers briefly, one at a time. Moisten your…

Creamy gnocchi bake

This easy Creamy Gnocchi Bake with mozzarella and spinach is perfect for a weeknight meal. It takes about 15 minutes to prep, then 30 minutes to bake in the oven. While you’re waiting, throw together a tossed salad or sauté a vegetable for a super low stress, well-balanced meal. Plus, can we just take a moment to admire all of that cheesy, creamy goodness? Those seasoned cherry tomatoes are just bursting with flavor, and fresh basil makes everything better. It’s a dish your whole crew will go crazy for. Creamy gnocchi bake Ingredients 4 tbsp butter 4 gloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried oregano 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved salt pepper 1/2 – 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 4 cups spinach 1 cup chicken broth 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 1 large handful basil, chopped + more for garnish 2 (about 17-18 ounces each) packages…

Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi soup

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this delicious that’s also ready in about 25 minutes — you’re going to fall in love with this recipe. If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, you can usually find them in the pasta section at any well-stocked grocery store. They’re often vacuumed-packaged and sold next to the boxed pastas. They might also be in the frozen foods aisle near the ravioli and stuffed shells. So what are they? Confession, this description might be a bit biased because I LOVE gnocchi. They’re these pillowy puffs of pasta with a slightly chewy texture, never tough, always just the…

Freezing herbs and other methods to make them last all winter

The cool, fall weather has been here long enough that most gardens are finally on their last leg. For many, the biggest draw of a home garden is the easy access to fresh herbs. But soon it will be too cold, and there won’t be any herbs left to pick straight from the garden. So what can you do to prolong access to your herb garden? Each herb favors different types of treatments, so Doug Oster, garden editor for the Tribune-Review and Everybodygardens.com gave us the dirt on how to best save each of the common herbs in the coming winter months. Move herbs Indoors If you grew herbs in containers this summer, some of them may continue to thrive if you bring them indoors. “There are certain herbs that will happily keep going on the window sill,” said Oster. “Rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, lemon balm. Those will be happy to limp along near a window indoors. They’re not going to look…

Cantaloupe salsa sweetens up end of summer celebrations

My oven broke last week, and I’ve been waiting for two weeks for the new one to arrive. But with this summer heat dragging on, I actually don’t mind the inconvenience one bit. Ive been using this time to get creative with foods that don’t require a heat source. That’s how this bright and cheery cantaloupe salsa came to be. I’ve always been a big fan of fruity salsas, whether on their own, or over fish or chicken. Mango salsa is the king of sweet salsas, closely followed by pineapple salsa — but this melon version is right up there. The cantaloupe and jalapeño create that delicious sweet heat I can’t get enough of. Tortilla chips and salsa might not seems like much of a dinner, but when it’s this delicious — and the weather is this hot — sometimes, it’s all you can handle. And don’t forget this fun…

Caprese Pizza recipe

This warm and crispy pizza combines two Italian favorites. You might find yourself wondering you ever want to eat anything else again. And try these other delicious, original takes on Caprese. Caprese Pizza Ingredients 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cubed 12 ounce store-bought pizza dough 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes of varying colors, halved 2- tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp cornmeal 3-4 ounces of fresh grated mozzarella cheese salt and pepper 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin Directions Let pizza dough stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Broil about 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to lightly brown. Place your pizza stone…