Month of October: “David Tanis Market Cooking” Recipe: Green Basil Oil

“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.” W.S Merwin

David Tanis, in my humble opinion, is a culinary genius. I cherish his recipes. He was at one time head chef at Alice Water’s famous Chez Panisse in Berkeley, has written many cookbooks and contributes to the New York times among so many other things. There is not one recipe of his that has ever disappointed me. A good friend and fellow cook turned me on to this icon and now I want to share him with you. In “Market Cooking” the premise is very simple: buy and cook with the freshest in season. Since I am working with this book in October I have to forfeit so many delicious looking possibilities made with radishes, asparagus, leeks and peas. But that is fine because we have so many other heavier vegetables to choose from that are still being harvested in our fields. Right now we have a few lingering summer flavors so I am starting with the most amazing basil oil. Abby and I adored basil and the years I lived near her we would always make tons of pesto from our homegrown basil. Honestly, this is way better. Sorry Ab. Bon Appetit!

Pick the leaves from a fine bunch of basil about 2 handfuls and about 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley. Puree in a food processor (or use a mortar and pestle or blender) with 1 garlic clove, about 3/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt until you have a bright green, not very thick sauce. It doesn’t hold an emulsion so stir before using. Makes about 1 cup. Tanis tells us this is delightful over a spring vegetable soup or lovely piece of white fish as well as the ever complimentary tomato.

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