Monday, June 14, 2010
Some French Guy, a pizza knife and pesto
He was in my purse this weekend when we made a quick trip to the mountains to visit my family in Spruce Pine. We spent the night in Boone and visited the campus of my alma mater, Appalachian State University. Go Mountaineers! Here I am with Yosef, our mascot.
We ate at a restaurant named Char on Howard Street in downtown Boone. The owners call it a "modern, American restaurant." We sat on the deck with a great view of the mountains and part of the ASU campus, sipped beer (a pale ale with a hint of blueberries) and ate calamari (panko crusted, lightly fried, served with basil aioli). The Ex-Ex (he asked me to change his name) loves calamari, but the little guys with the tentacles made him a bit squeamish. Pas moi!
We also shared a pizza at Mellow Mushroom. We chose The Magical Mystery Tour.
Laguiole on them.
I strongly suspect that my little set is a knock-off, but I really don't care. They make me happy. When I am in Arles again next spring, I plan to buy the matching forks and spoons.
Next time I am ready to make pizza, I am going to try to make my own Magical Mystery Tour. Forget the tomato sauce and go with pesto.
(makes 1 cup)
2 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 c. pine nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add garlic and pulse until smooth. Add 1/2 c. olive oil in a steady stream while food processor is on. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add cheese and process until well-blended. Season with salt and pepper. (Start with a pinch of salt and adjust to suit your taste.)
You can freeze pesto for up to 3 months. If you plan to do this, do not add the cheese. Transfer it to an air-tight container, cover with about 1/4 cup more olive oil and seal. When ready to serve, thaw and add cheese.
This is good on bread or on pasta instead of tomato sauce.
But if you happen to be in Arles on a Saturday morning, go to the market and don't leave until you find the couple who sell pesto- pistou vert. They have lots of other spreads that are all delicious, but their pistou vert is the best. I brought three jars home with me. I did give one to the BFF. I am able to share sometimes.
Bon appétit, Some French Guy and Yosef!