- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loose fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 3 whole ripe tomatoes
- 6 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, patted dry
- Ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
Pre-trip Preparation - Pesto
In a small skillet toast the pine nuts over medium heat, continually stirring, until they become fragrant and just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Toast whole, unpeeled, garlic cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they brown, become soft and fragrant. Remove the garlic peels and place with the pine nuts to cool.
In a food processor combine the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and process until smooth. Sometimes it is necessary to stop and scrape the bowl sides to ensure full incorporation. Stir in the Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice tomatoes and Mozzarella into 1/4" slices. Build the salads by layering, in the following order, a tomato slice, pesto, Mozzarella, and garnish with a basil leaf.