Basil and tomato. The combination of those fresh, raw foods always equals something delicious, even though I am admittedly not a big fan of tomatoes (I know, I know! I’m learning to like them) In an attempt to get more raw foods into our diet, and inspired by the batch of basil that we got from this morning’s CSA, this deliciously light and summery lunch was created.
Pesto is a sauce that is so amazingly simple that it requires no recipe. Simply put it’s: basil (and lots of it), garlic, pine nuts, oil, and cheese. I used a batch of basil, approximately two cups if I had to guestimate; half a clove of garlic, a handful of pinenuts, and enough olive oil to help it blend together.
I chose to food process my ingredients, one at a time, for just a few seconds that so there was still a lot of chunk left in them. Yes, that is the technical term.
Bruschetta, in the American sense, is a topping generally consisting of tomatoes, onions, herbs, and vinegar. This is quite different than the Italian use of the word, but for the sake of simplicity we will stick with only one definition for now– my Italian step-mother-in-law can enlighten us more on the differences later on!
My version this afternoon consisted of: Three tomatoes, an onion, and half of an eggplant; a generous two tablespoons of pesto; a tablespoon of fresh oregano; and enough balsamic vinegar to gently coat the mixture.
Coarsely chop up the veggies, toss everything together, and let marinate for a few hours. I can never wait a few hours, though, so I generally eat my concoction soon after its blended.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy these dishes completely raw, but this is where I’ll stop. We’re taking baby steps, okay? A great way to use up your pesto (although I hate seeing it all disappear so quickly!) is to mix it with pasta and finish it off with a generous serving of pine nuts and some grated cheese. Use your bruschetta as a topping for fresh sourdough bread. It doesn’t get any simpler than this, but it’s so delicious that there’s no need to make it more complicated.