Summertime recipes: Basil
Lemon, basil, and walnut pesto: In a food processor, whirl 2 cups packed basil leaves, 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup olive oil, zest and juice of ½ lemon, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, and 1/3 cup toasted walnuts until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss pesto with cooked pasta and a little pasta water. Add more pepper and parmesan to taste.
Basil syrup: Simmer 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup water, and 1 large bunch chopped basil in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Let steep 20 minutes; strain. Use to sweeten iced tea or summery cocktails.
Cherry tomato and basil salad: In a salad bowl, mix whole basil leaves with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and a red wine vinaigrette.