Like many of you, I got the email ahead of time from Victory Farms saying that they were clearing out the basil. A few others of you also probably got the email from Anna B’s announcing the introduction of gluten-free baguettes to her line up AND that she would be at SOTJ! So Thursday, I started salivating, dreaming up all of the wonderful treats I could make with a nice crusty baguette and a fresh bunch of basil and I came back to a go-to dip that hits the spot all summer long. Rarely do I go without homemade pesto in my kitchen, especially when I can buy basil in bulk and make tons to freeze. So, I grabbed two huge bunches, picked up a fresh made baguette and swung over to BonnyClabber Cheese Company for tasty roll of black peppered goat cheese. Here’s how it all came together in a fresh, bright appetizer:
Makes about 2 cups
4 handfuls fresh basil leaves
1/2-2/3′s cup toasted, unsalted walnuts
1 wedge parmigiano reggiano
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Pulse all ingredients in a processor except oil until chunky. Next, slowly drizzle in the olive oil – add as much oil as needed to get to the right consistency. I tend to keep it a bit tight because you can always add a little more oil to each dish when using the pesto and for the purposes of a dip, the less oil the better.
Pesto and Goat Cheese Dip
Remove all but 2 tbsps of pesto in processor and store separately. To the processor, add zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and 4 oz of black peppered goat cheese. Blend until creamy. The black peppered goat cheese adds a sharp tang to the dip which is balanced out by the freshness of the lemon. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with toasted, oiled baguette rounds.
Anna B’s gluten-free baguette had the perfect texture for this dip. Toasted on a low heat with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt, the crusty outside and slightly chewy inside made for a great base to the creamy, sharp flavors of the pesto and goat cheese.
Not only did the basil provide a summer fresh taste, but the pale, vertical blooms made a modern and fragrant bouquet for the kitchen.
Saturday’s Basket is written by a Forest Hill resident and is a weekly review of South of the James Market purchases and the recipes she creates with her market finds. View these and more recipes at Pantry2Plate, a food blog with stories of cooking as best as she knows how.