Pool, beach, eat, drink, repeat.
That’s basically my entire Holiday weekend in a nutshell. Oh plus a rousing game of bocce ball (which I lost, btw), a night of fireworks and general silliness with good friends.
Overall, I have no complaints. Except that I want to be doing it all over again.
Today we’re talking about one of my favorite summer staples: pesto. But this is no ordinary pesto. Because there isn’t a single basil leaf within a 50 mile radius (= exaggeration) of this sauce. That’s right. No basil plants were harmed in the making of this pesto. Instead, I’m whirling up some freshly shelled peas (trust me, it’s worth the time it takes to shell them) and some peppery arugula. And I’m skipping out on the Parmesan cheese to keep this Pea and Arugula Pesto completely dairy free. Trust me. You won’t even miss the cheese.
So what can you do with this Pea and Arugula Pesto? Um…how about everything and anything (= exaggeration #2). Toss it with pasta, use it as a sandwich spread, slather it on grilled meats and veggies, or top some little toasts for an easy appetizer (just like I did in the photographs). The possibilities are fairly endless.
Since it’s the start of a new month, we’ve got other seasonal ingredients (in addition to peas and arugula!) to take into consideration while we shop, cook and eat our way through July. So have a peak at Becky’s seasonal produce guide for this month. And better yet, save it to your phone or tablet so you can have it at the ready when you hit the grocery store.
And if you need some recipe suggestions for all of July’s awesome fruits and vegetables, check out what some of your other favorite food bloggers have created for this month by clicking on the links below. And make sure to follow along with the hashtag #eatseasonal (and share what you’re making in your kitchen too!), for even more inspiration and ideas!
July Eat Seasonal Recipes
Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon by Simple Bites
Creamy Grilled Corn Pasta by Completely Delicious
Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by The Lemon Bowl
Crispy Chicken & Cucumber Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette by Climbing Grier Mountain
Healthy Zucchini Muffins by Gimme Some Oven
Fresh Corn Salad by Bless this Mess
Apricot Glazed Chicken by Vintage Mixer
Spinach Pesto by Mountain Mama Cooks
Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing by Kitchen Confidante
Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck
Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberries by Well Plated
Poached Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon by Project Domestication
Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Flavor the Moments
How to Make Arugula Pesto by FoodieCrush
Let’s get sauced!
Nope. Not that kind of sauced.
Well, go ahead if you want. I won’t stop you. This is a judgment free blog-zone. I’ll wait while you go fetch a cocktail…
Ok, now that we are all settled in with our drink, let’s talk grilling. And how I’m the happiest girl in the whole wide world because the snow has melted away and I can see my grill again. Hallelujah.
I kicked off grilling season with these lamb skewers a couple weeks ago. And now I’m hitting the sauce hard. The barbecue sauce that is. So of course I have to make my own. Store bought barbecue sauce can be pretty good. But now that I’ll be grilling ALL THE TIME, it’s worth having the homemade stuff in my fridge so I’m ready to go at a moments notice.
Making barbecue sauce at home is crazy easy. You just need one large skillet or pan and about 15 minutes of time. You can also completely customize the spice level and have fun with different flavor profiles.
So now I really want to make a joke about liking my barbecue sauce how I like my men: spicy, sweet, etc. But I’ll refrain. Because my mother reads this blog (Hi Mom!).
Let’s continue. This Maple-Bourbon Apricot Barbecue Sauce has a lot going on. It has a deep smoky flavor from the chipotle peppers in adobo and a dash of liquid smoke (that stuff is magic!). And just a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup and apricot preserves. I would say the spice level here is medium at best, so feel free to whisk in a little more paprika, or some cayenne pepper, if you want more heat. Oh and since everything is better with bourbon, I added some. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
This recipe makes about 3 cups of barbecue sauce, which will last for at least a couple weeks in your refrigerator. So you’ll get a lot of mileage out of a single batch, either for your own personal use or consider giving a jar to someone as a gift. Wouldn’t you be super cool if you showed up at a cookout with a jar of this stuff? Yeah you would!