Monday, July 16, 2018
Cooking

In Our Kitchen: Recipe for Pea and Prosciutto Pizza With Pistachio Pesto

I don't remember my first taste of pesto, but I know my husband is a longtime fan. Maybe it's the Italian roots on his dad's side (Valentine was Valentini just a few generations ago), but Danny was likely one of the only kids in his elementary school toting a lunch box filled with pasta coated in homemade pesto. His dad tells me he insisted on this for lunch just about every day. For the record, 9-year-old me was unwrapping a standard turkey sandwich on whole wheat.

The reason my husband is such a fan of this green sauce is because his father, Rich, has been making it for decades. He has packed countless jars with pesto made with basil from his backyard garden. At any time, there are several jars in their freezer at home in Iowa.

"Stuff lasts forever," he tells me, in response to a photo I texted of my own batch of pesto. "Was used by Roman legions on war campaigns for that reason except you could smell them coming. Really."

Indeed, this pesto is super fragrant. And I can't help eating it by the spoonful.

A classic pesto usually calls for basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, garlic and salt. But you can make pesto with nearly any combination of greens and nuts.

I recently ordered and loved the bianca pizza at Noble Crust in St. Petersburg, which caught my eye because of its use of pistachio pesto. After weeks went by and I still couldn't get that pizza out of my mind, I set out to make my own version.

To go with the fresh green sauce base, add fresh peas. A smattering of whole pistachios lets people know what they're eating and adds crunch. The pizza that inspired me features fresh mozzarella and ricotta, which you can use here, but I decided to go for burrata — fresh mozzarella stuffed with cream.

We usually have a jar or two of Rich's pesto around since my in-laws occasionally bring some when they visit Florida. Now with my own recipe for pesto and a humble basil plant growing in our back yard, my freezer may start to fill up with pesto, too. And on my next trip to the Midwest, I'll have a couple of jars to give to Rich.

Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]

Comments
Taste test: New snacks from Klondike, Quaker, Planters and Layís

Taste test: New snacks from Klondike, Quaker, Planters and Layís

Every parent knows the need to stock up the snack cupboard when their children are around for the summer. I am not sure whether they get hungrier in the hot weather or just bored. But judges said their children always want something to eat when they ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Here's what we learned about buying and cooking beef after spending time with Niman Ranch

Here's what we learned about buying and cooking beef after spending time with Niman Ranch

We started off our education at a Niman Ranch family ranch, where the Edelman family raises Angus beef, birth to finish, in the Flint Hills of Sabetha.
Published: 07/09/18
Nine recipes for ice pops you can make at home

Nine recipes for ice pops you can make at home

By Daniel Neman Itís summer, and the sun is relentless, merciless, heartless. The air hangs heavy. Your shirt sticks to your back. Beads of sweat threaten to drip into your eyes.Air conditioning wonít help, and neither will a dip in a pool. Those c...
Published: 07/09/18
Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

Americaís Test KitchenWhen it comes to grilled kebabs, vegetables are often an afterthought, typically used as a filler on meat-heavy skewers. But this treatment often leads to mushy, burnt vegetables with no flavor of their own. We wanted to create ...
Published: 07/06/18
Quench your thirst with a Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie

Quench your thirst with a Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie

By Katie WorkmanHoly mother of summer, itís gotten hot. My dog is sleeping in our shower because the tiles are cool. Iím testing recipes in the morning because I donít want my oven cranking all afternoon. And (this is how I know itís really hot), I m...
Published: 07/06/18
Recipe for pork tenderloin, my favorite cut for a weeknight dinner, with cherry relish

Recipe for pork tenderloin, my favorite cut for a weeknight dinner, with cherry relish

Pork tenderloin has become my dinnertime champion. I love it for its low fat content, its relatively low price point and the way it will cook perfectly with little to no supervision. The tenderloin, as you might expect, comes from the loin of the pig...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/10/18
Tips for your home bar, plus cocktail and trail mix recipes

Tips for your home bar, plus cocktail and trail mix recipes

On this most American of holidays, I went to local spirts (and tiki) connoisseur Dean Hurst for some expert advice about tiki culture ó and the drinks that foster the colorful, tropical vibes. Tiki bars are an American creation, though they borrow th...
Published: 07/03/18
Recipe for a bright quinoa salad with a bite, creaminess and acidity

Recipe for a bright quinoa salad with a bite, creaminess and acidity

Sure, quinoa is a complete protein and is known as a "superfood," so itís a great base for a hearty and healthful main dish salad. But we love it also for its intriguing and delicate texture and nutty flavor. For a quinoa salad that showcased these g...
Published: 07/03/18
Taste test: Storebought sugar cones for ice cream

Taste test: Storebought sugar cones for ice cream

Whenever we talk about summertime memories, our panelists always end their stories with ice cream. Making our own cones was a big treat in my youth, and our tasters have similar experiences. This week, we asked them to taste some of the sugar cones o...
Published: 07/02/18
Five ideas for appetizers and snacks using summer fruit

Five ideas for appetizers and snacks using summer fruit

Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which means your best course of action is probably to enjoy the federal holiday at home with an abundance of summery foods and cold drinks. Click here for grilling inspiration, an easy way to get that m...
Updated one month ago