If, like us, you have a mountain of basil in your garden, go make pesto! And then make this pesto couscous salad and feel damn proud of yourself.
With great gardening power comes great gardening responsibility. Namely, what the heckings do I do with the huge jungle of basil that is currently exploding in my front garden? Well fair reader, I’m glad you asked.
The first thing I did was make Basil Pesto with Walnuts and Pecorino. Holy moly, is it tasty. (I list a whole bunch of uses for it on that post but this magnificent salad deserved a post of its very own).
The idea came about because Matt and I had plans to go to a Sangria Festival at a local winery with some friends (and yes, this event is exactly as fun as it sounds.) We’ve gone the last few years and had an absolutely amazing time. It’s basically a huge picnic, with the most incredible views of the Hudson River, and endless access to refreshingly delicious but dangerously potent sangrias. It’s a week later and I’m still recuperating (#old).
Back when I was just a wee little sprout gazing through my window at New York City, I often wondered what life would be like if I lived in a house instead of an apartment. What it would be like to stand outside on a patch of earth and say “mine!” and know it was true.
Well, it took me a very (very) long time to get there but I finally got my little patch. The fact that it’s a dusty, hilly, weedy little patch covered with poison ivy and crab grass doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm one bit. Okay, maybe a little bit, but just you wait, in twenty or thirty years this yard will be… a tiny bit nicer (we work slowly).
One thing I’ve discovered since living in a house; standing on a deck with a cocktail in hand whilst some form of meat sizzles on a grill is one of life’s simple pleasures. Another thing I’ve discovered; it is nearly impossible to make meltingly tender ribs on a grill unless you are a grill master. (We are not Grill Masters. We are not even Grill Journeymen.)
Grilled steak ramped up with a tangy, creamy blue cheese and chive compound butter – watch out, steak night, the bar just got raised.
This is a ‘seal the deal’ kind of dinner. The kind of dinner I make for Matt when I really want him to say “Huh? Whatever. I wasn’t listening but ‘yes’ as long as you make this again.” It’s that good.
There’s something about the combination of rich beef and tangy blue cheese that just works (which is why the best burger combination is blue cheese and crispy bacon, in my opinion). Well, this recipe takes that classic pairing to the next level.
We grilled New York Strip steaks and topped them with the most delicious blue cheese and chive compound butter and served it with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme. You’re licking your screen, aren’t you? I understand, here’s a tissue.
I wanted something a little sweet and tart to go along with our Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter and as soon as I saw Ina Garten’s recipe for Balsamic Onions, I knew I wanted to do a version of it. I added thyme because I love their flavor with anything roasted, though rosemary would also be great. I also increased the cooking time by quite a bit because I wanted the onions to be quite soft and caramelized, as opposed to still crunchy.
A couple of weekends ago, Matt and I spent a wonderful afternoon discovering treasures in an absolutely lovely Hudson Valley town, Cold Spring, NY.
“Wait,” says a person with GoogleMaps, “Isn’t Cold Spring literally the next town over from Beacon, where you live and have lived for the last three years.”
Why yes, as it happens, that’s true. Let’s just gloss over that fact for the moment, shall we?