It’s been an exciting few days. In attempt to stay somewhat focused and productive with my shoots, I took a simple approach with our cilantro and basil. These herbs are overflowing in our garden, so I decided to make a bunch of Cilantro-Basil Pesto.
I think cilantro is probably my favorite herb. Although the smell and taste of fresh basil always tugs at my heart strings, there’s something extra special about cilantro. I add it to many recipes because the flavor always seems to compliment everything else. But not everyone likes cilantro. I’ve discovered that people either really love it or can’t stand it – there’s not really an in between – very similar to how people feel about oysters.
This recipe comes together so quickly and if you’re not a fan of cilantro, just use extra basil. I used my Vitamix again, which has become a regular go-to in my kitchen these days. You can use the pesto a variety of ways, but since Mike got us a charcoal grill this summer, I decided to grill up this simple pesto flatbread with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. One tip I have is to roast the slices of tomatoes for about 5-10 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees first. I slice the tomatoes thin and sprinkle them with a touch of dried oregano since I love how it enhances the flavor of the tomatoes. When they’re done roasting, I add all the ingredients to the flatbread and hit the grill. The first time I tried this approach with the tomatoes was with a BLT Pizza recipe from Cooking Light. I tried it again with this recipe and it was delicious! It can work as a dinner for two or you could slice the pieces smaller for party food.
It’s exciting times like these where I really enjoy the simpler recipes. I’ve been very giddy and a bit distracted since learning that I am a Finalist for Best Photography in the Saveur Food Blog Awards. The unexpected news came to me in an email while I was finishing up a shoot at my home studio with my sweet little helper (our tabby cat), Ollie. Completely surprised and excited, I yelled, “Holy Shit!!!”… which is the same thing I happily yelled when Mike asked me to marry him. I re-read the email several times to be SURE that I read it right and then proceeded to dance around the living room and share the amazing news with Mike and my family. This is like a dream!
THANK YOU to all who nominated Up Close & Tasty. Being recognized at this level is humbling and very exciting for me! Your support and encouragement are instrumental in all of this and I would love to get your vote in the Best Photography category! Congratulations to all of the finalists! I’m so grateful to be a part of this with you!
½ cup fresh basil
1.5 cups fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon fresh ginger
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large garlic clove
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1. Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix until desired consistency.
2. Serve with pasta, meats or pizza.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.
Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with Vitamix. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Up Close & Tasty cooking!