Pesto lives in our freezer all year long thanks to my diligent harvesting of our basil plants throughout the summer and into the fall. Yet I tend to cook more with pesto in the summer. Pesto is summer. I’m always amazed at how damn good it tastes.
We only have three basil plants this year. Hopefully I’ll get enough pesto out of them to last until next summer. We’re still using last fall’s pesto so I’ve got a bit of a cushion.
Here’s a recipe that makes an appearance on our table at least every other week in the summer.
Summer Vegetables with Pesto
I make this recipe so often in the summer that I don’t really think of it in recipe terms. Like many Italian-style dishes I make, I don’t measure ingredients, but here’s an approximation of what I did last night.
You’ll need a large skillet.
- Olive oil
- 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then into 1/4” slices
- 2 summer squash, sliced lengthwise, then into 1/4” slices
- 6-8 oz cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- Kernels from 2 cobs of corn
- 4 ice cubes of frozen pesto, thawed, or 1/4-1/3 cup of prepared pesto (guessing at that amount)
- What else do you have in the refrigerator that would work? Last night I had a broccoli stem after using the florets for salad. I chopped that up and added it to the pan. Roasted eggplant also works well in this dish.
- My pesto has garlic in it so I don’t feel the need to add any more to the pan, but if you’re garlic crazy, you might feel differently.
- Do you want a little heat? Add some red pepper flakes.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt to the pan. Sauté until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Stir in tomatoes and corn, and sauté until tomatoes are beginning to soften. Stir in pesto and take off the heat.