"This important culinary herb, with its warm spicy flavor, send cooks into poetic raptures. A native of Africa and Asia, basil is held in reverence as a plant imbued wit divine essence, and therefore the Indians chose this herb upon which to swear their oaths in court. Basil was found growing around Christ's tomb after the resurrection, so some Greek Orthodox churches use it to prepare the holy water, and pot of basil are set below church altars.
There are many varieties of basil, including shrubby basil, which is a tropical species. In Haiti, it belongs to the pagan love goddess Erzulie, as a powerful protector, and in rural Mexico it is sometimes carried in pockets to magnetize money and to return a lover's roving eye."
~ The Complete Book of Herbs
PISTACHIO PESTO PASTA with GRILLED LEMON SCALLOPS
~ Before the frost hits, harvest basil for this deliciously sweet meld of flavors
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup roasted pistachios
1/3 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
pinch coarse salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. linguine
1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
chopped green onion for garnish
pistachios for garnish
- Combine basil, pistachios, Asiago cheese, green and red onions, garlic, salt and pepper in food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add oil and incorporate into pesto until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
- Cook pasta into boiling salted water until tender but firm. Scoop out 1 cup pasta water and reserve if needed. Drain pasta and stir in pesto and Asiago cheese. Toss and add pasta water if too thick. Top with grilled scallops and garnish with additional pistachios and chopped green onion. (4 servings)
GRILLED LEMON SCALLOPS
24 large sea scallops
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
- Combine scallops, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, zest and cracked pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Heat grill. Remove scallops from marinade and grill on high for 2-3 minutes on each side.