This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with a Locavore Feast I hosted.
Some ingredients were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
While most of the wine pairings for the Locavore Feast came from Donkey & Goat, I did receive a special treat for one course: a wine from local winemaker Ian Brand.* So, I poured that wine with salads that featured produce from Farmer Jamie at Serendipity Farms. Both are local producers; both are people I adore. What a treat!
Have you ever had purslane? I first encountered purslane in a CSA box years ago. It almost looks like a succulent. Amazingly, its leaves have more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils. I think I read somewhere that it's technically a succulent herb. And it definitely has a lot of flavor. Think sour and salty all at the same time. It's the perfect base for pesto.
Pesto is a sauce that originated in the Ligurian region of northern Italy. Pesto genovese, from Genoa, traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano. The name derives from the Italian verb pestare which means to pound or to crush, referring to the original way of preparing it - with a mortar and pestle. The ingredients in a traditional pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. Now I use a food processor. It's much easier! And...I use whatever greens and nuts I happen to have on-hand. So, for this version, I was inspired by Jamie's purslane.
Ingredients makes 1 pint jar
- 2 C fresh purslane leaves, rinsed, dried, and destemmed
- 1 C fresh basil, destemmed
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 C whole raw almonds
- 3/4 C shredded parmesan
- juice from 1 organic lemon (I used Meyer lemon because my parents have a tree in their backyard)
- olive oil as needed
- fresh mozzarella
- organic hierloom tomatoes
- fresh basil
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
Place all of the ingredients into the blender or the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, drizzle in a few glugs of olive oil, and resume pulsing. Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.
If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time. So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.
To serve, place a dollop of pesto on your serving plate or platter. Arrange slices of mozzarella and tomatoes on top of the pesto. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper and top with more fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
La Marea, made by Ian Brand of I. Brand & Family Winery and Le P’tit Paysan, focuses on single vineyard Spanish varietals that are “rooted in the sea, the soil and the sea air” such as Albariño, Grenache (Garnacha), and Mourvèdre (Monastrell). This particular wine was made with grapes from the Kristy Vineyard whose soil has a high percentage of limestone which lends the resulting wine a bright acidity.
This Albariño is aromatic and crisp with a plethora of stone fruit and citrus notes. It was a great match with this salad and the Braising Greens with Strawberry-Honey Vinaigrette that was also part of this course. Cheers.