I started salivating earlier this week, dreaming up all of the wonderful treats I could make with a nice crusty baguette and a fresh bunch of basil that I brought home from our local Farmer's Market. I came back to a go-to dip that hits the spot all summer long. Rarely do I go without homemade pesto in my kitchen, especially when I can buy basil in bulk and make tons to freeze. So, with the two huge bunches I picked up and a tasty roll of black peppered goat cheese, I put together a fresh, bright dish that would be a perfect summer evening snack or compliment to any Sunday brunch.
Makes about 2 cups
4 handfuls fresh basil leaves
1/2-2/3′s cup toasted, unsalted walnuts
1 wedge parmigiano reggiano
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Pulse all ingredients in a processor except oil until chunky. Next, slowly drizzle in the olive oil – add as much oil as needed to get to the right consistency. I tend to keep it a bit tight because you can always add a little more oil to each dish when using the pesto and for the purposes of a dip, the less oil the better.
Pesto and Goat Cheese Dip
Remove all but 2 tbsps of pesto in processor and store separately. To the processor, add zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and 4 oz of black peppered goat cheese. Blend until creamy. The black peppered goat cheese adds a sharp tang to the dip which is balanced out by the freshness of the lemon. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with toasted, oiled baguette rounds.
Anna B’s gluten-free baguette had the perfect texture for this dip. Toasted on a low heat with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt, the crusty outside and slightly chewy inside made for a great base to the creamy, sharp flavors of the pesto and goat cheese.
Not only did the basil provide a summer fresh taste, but the pale, vertical blooms made a modern and fragrant bouquet for the kitchen.