I signed up for cooking classes. Watched online tutorials. Read my cookbooks. Made lists of things I needed in the kitchen and filled my cupboards and drawers with cookware and gadgets. I grocery shopped with a critical eye, choosing local and organic whenever I could. Stopped eating out so much. Invited my friends over to try my pesto, my piccata, my potatoes au gratin. A hundred times, I stopped myself from taking pictures of my culinary triumphs and sending them to Jack so he could see my progress and be proud of me.
— Margot, AFTER WE FALL
This one is a bit of a cheat, since Margot only makes a reference to her pesto sauce and never makes in “on the page.” But I feel certain that once she and Jack were back together, she showed off her culinary prowess all the time–and who doesn’t love pesto in the summertime?
My kitchen always smells amazing when I make this. Like fresh herbs!
This recipe, shared with me by an ex’s mom (I miss her cooking more than I miss him), is super easy to make and yields kind of a paste which you can add more olive oil to if you like it less concentrated. I leave it as is because I love these flavors!
3 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh parsley (remove stems)
1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp pine nuts
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp black pepper
- Puree basil, parsley, oil, nuts and garlic in food processor.
- Transfer to a bowl and add cheese and pepper. Stir together and let sit a few hours at room temp (this is when my kitchen smells so good!)
- This makes a concentrated paste—you can add olive oil when using it on pasta.
- Freeze small portions separately for future use. Let it thaw on the counter to room temp, don’t heat it—cheese gets lumpy. (I added that note for my brother when I shared the recipe with him LOL.)
- Serve over pasta–I like it with seafood like shrimp or salmon with long pasta like linguine, and I also like it with chicken and sundried tomatoes with twisty pasta like gemelli or fusilli!