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August 7th,
written by Arthur

It’s been a while, a long while, since I last posted.  A difficult break-up, followed by finals, followed by studying for the bar kept me out of the kitchen and off the blog.  The last few months have been arduous.

I sat for the last day of the bar exam on July 27 and on the 28th began my return to the real world.  But, when I tried to get back on ECL on the 29th I found an unfortunate “Fatal Error” message.  After only a few hours of work behind the scenes I was able to break the blog even more—no contact with the server.  But today, I final got everything back up and running.  I had no idea when I started this thing that I would learn so much about computers.

Last Saturday, for the first Saturday in recent memory, I woke-up and didn’t open a bar study book.  Instead I grabbed an ice coffee and made the mile and a half walk to the farmers market for the first time this summer.  I went from stand to stand looking at all the green, red, yellow, and orange delights.  But I had a mission: caprese and pesto.

I found a huge plant of basil for only $3.  I say plant because it really was still a plant with roots and all.  It kills me to think about how much I’ve paid in winter for a handful of sorry looking basil from the supermarket.  For the tomatoes in the caprese I got some bright red cherry tomatoes.  Other random finds included some garlic scapes (long shoots that grow out of the head of the garlic) and a head of broccoli.  [My apologies for the details on the mundane.  What can I say?  I’m excited.]

On the way home I picked-up pine nuts from Russo’s Mozzarella and Pasta up the street from me.  On the walk home from Russo’s I realized I had forgotten the cheese!  So I stopped in a Union Market and picked-up some Parmigiano Reggiano and some amazing mozzarella.

Now when I say this was amazing mozzarella I’m not doing it justice.  I didn’t realize when I bought it, but I had gotten Burrata.  Burrata is basically cream filled mozzarella.  It’s rich, silky, and decadent—like no other cheese I’ve had in my life.  Outside is a layer of the familiar fresh mozzarella, inside is a semi-solid pudding like structure.  I started cutting the fist size balls to make caprese but quickly turned to tearing with my hands.  I then cut the cherry tomatoes in half and cut about a half dozen basil leaves into strips.  After mixing it all together with some good olive oil and some coarse sea salt I enjoyed an incredible afternoon snack.

But I can’t forget the pesto.  I used the following recipe as a template (it’s almost identical to the one in Loren’s pesto post), but improved it with two more cloves of garlic and about another cup of basil.  Also, make sure you buy actual Parmesan Reggiano and some decent olive oil–the extra few bucks are worth it and can be spread over several batches.


  •  2  3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed  [going from 2 to 3 cups made it less runny, which I personally like]
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  •  3  6-7 medium sized garlic cloves, minced [I needed more garlic, all the vampires in pop-culture today have me worried]
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:  First, combine the basil with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.  Then, add the garlic, pulse a few times more.  Next you’re supposed to slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.  I only have a miniature Cuisinart Chopper and Grinder.  The lid doesn’t have an opening so I had to pulse, add oil, pulse, and oil…. you get the idea.  It was a little slower going, but worked great.  Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula and add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Finally, hit it with a pinch of salt to taste and give it one last pulse.  When you’re done the whole room will have a wonderful pesto smell and you’ll have enough pesto for a few people.

Oh, and the pesto keeps in the fridge for a few days or the freezer forever—so you don’t need to eat it all right away.  This is a good thing, because I made a return to the farmers market yesterday and just made a giant batch.

It’s feels good to be cooking and typing some non-law study words again.  There isn’t a lot of summer left, but I plan to make the most of it!  Sometime soon I’m coming back from the farmers market with squash blossoms.

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  1. carse

    can i just come live in your kitchen?

  2. Vance Hubbert

    Very informative post.Thank You!

  3. Bulah Mickolick

    Nice share!

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