If I had to choose one favorite summer meal, it would be basil pesto and caprese salad. Simple. Easy. Uses several fresh ingredients from the garden. It makes me happy.
Pour 2-3 Tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar into a bowl
Add fresh mozzarella medallions and halved cherry tomatoes
Top with fresh shredded basil leaves
Drizzle with good olive oil
Fresh Basil Pesto
Place the following ingredients into a food processor:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup good olive oil
Mix until pureed and smooth
Add the above mixture to one package (16 oz.) of prepared pasta (I like linguine). Pass freshly grated parmesan at the table. You may want to add a little salt too.
I served this with a green salad, because I can't get enough of the fresh greens right now. The caprese can be served on the side with the green salad and the balsamic sauce can be drizzled onto the greens in place of dressing, so you don't add a foreign flavor to this delicious mix.
A freshly baked, warm baguette goes well with this too.
Enjoy with a glass (or two or three) of red wine on one of these warm summer evenings.