The thought of Summer brings several things to mind…long sunny days, outdoor markets, produce, and pesto!! Pesto is the wonderful summer treat that changes how we decorate pastas, meats, vegetables and more!
Pesto has its origins in Genoa and derives its name from the Genoese word pestâ, which means to pound or crush. Pesto is traditionally prepared in a mortar and pestle, but is easily whipped up in minutes with the modern convenience of a food processor. (The traditional method is certainly superior, so if time and energy are not an issue, relish in the joy of making pesto according to its namesake!)
Traditional Genoese pesto is made of fresh Sweet Basil, delicate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, and Pine Nuts. Equally delicious are the many variations of pesto, which will to invigorate your summer cooking. Try our recipe for Kale Garlic Walnut Pesto or consider these options:
Mint makes for such a vibrantly fresh sauce to accompany lamb, potatoes, vegetables, fruit and more. It works well on its own with a 100% EVOO or with a Lemon Olive Oil and just a pitch of salt…without nuts or cheese. Try this over fresh watermelon and with grilled lamb and potatoes. It's also is delicious using half mint and half basil plus ricotta salata cheese.
Spicy arugula pesto is perfectly paired with pasta. Arugula is pungent and can be combined with basil or basil and mint to offset some of the spiciness, but allow the arugula flavors to dominate. Pungent Parmigiano or Pecorino is a nice addition.
For Latin freshness and flair, make a pesto of fresh cilantro and Jalapeño Agrumato Olive Oil. A pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon or lime make the sauce complete. Serve with fish, seafood, chicken, mango and fresh fruits, or over avocados.
A savory pesto that goes well over soups and meats, sage brings deep, earthy flavors to the dish. Combine with walnuts or almonds to serve over pasta or with roasted vegetables. For more complex flavor, make the sage pesto with our Leek Agrumato Olive Oil.
Pine Nuts are expensive and hard to find; walnuts are a wonderful nut alternative in pesto. In Sicily there is a delicious pesto consisting solely of walnuts, fresh ricotta, a pinch or salt and pepper, and of course olive oil. Add tomato paste or opt to leave it out. Use Rosemary Agrumato Olive Oil or 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is great with pasta, but can also be served with eggplant, potatoes, and more!
Ricotta is a delicious cheese to use in pesto. For a sweet and creamy sauce, choose fresh ricotta. For a more savory sauce, choose ricotta salata. Both ricotta pestos make an ideal pizza toppings.
Celebrate 10 Years of The Olive Tap with 10 Ways To Incorporate Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Into Your Daily Routine!
On July 1st, 2006, The Olive Tap in Long Grove opened its doors to introduce a new way of experiencing olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Our “taste before you buy” approach introduced customers to a variety of quality olive oils and balsamics, each to be sampled from their stainless steel fusti tanks. While some may [...]
Venture in to any festival in Southern Spain and the beverage found everywhere will be Sherry Wine: Sherry punches, cocktails, etc. This complex and aromatic wine is produced in the Jerez triangle in the Southeastern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, in the region of Cadiz, and is used to make the gastronomically rich Sherry Vinegar. [...]
Andalucia, the Southern region in Spain, is known for many cultural elements. Flamenco dancers and singers are at their best here. Bullfights and férias match the intensity of the sun and heat. Splendid cross-cultural architecture and gleaming white villages glisten across the landscape. The rolling hills are speckled with ancient olive trees, which can more [...]
As the weather warms, our outdoor dining table turns lighter and brighter. This lighter fare is known as tapas, tarailletes, small plates, appetizers or simply snacks. Whether on the back deck or patio, at the local park or lake, perhaps even a baseball or soccer game, the food preferences become more playful and flavorful. We [...]
We first shared with you recipes for drinking vinegar in our Timeless Virtues of Vinegar article in 2014 when we published this recipe for a Lambrusco Shrub. Drinking vinegar has been labelled as one of the top health trends of the year for 2016. Whether you are interested in the health benefits or are just curious and interested [...]
The Olive Tap prides itself on offering a variety of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oils from delicate to robust, to please a wide range of palettes. While the Olive Tap Tasting Panel approves only the highest quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) based on chemical and sensory analyses, we always consider flavor above all else. How [...]
Surely you have heard of the Mediterranean Diet, which evokes images of white-washed Greek islands, turquoise seas, and 90+ year-old men and women breakfasting on olives and olive oil. The Mediterranean Diet is composed primarily of fruits, vegetables, pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils and chick peas), seafood, sheep and goat’s milk and, best of all, [...]
The recent 60 Minutes exposé on Mafia involvement in Italian agriculture and especially fraudulent and adulterated olive oils has generated a lot of inquiries into the difference between the Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOO) offered by The Olive Tap stores and those suspect oils sold in grocery and other retail outlets. Firstly, we need [...]
Indeed Arbequina is the olive variety that seems to have taken over the world! Here at The Olive Tap, we feature Arbequina 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil from various origins throughout the year. So why is Arbequina so popular and just where did it come from? To answer that we travel back to 17th Jerusalem... Where [...]