Trying to acclimate to NYC, with its inexplicable absence of spring or fall seasons has been more painful than watching the Red Sox sweep of the Yankees. Having recently returned from France where the flowers were blooming, the skies blue, the sunshine bright and the breezes blowing, this weather makes me want to defect. Maybe New York is just not the place to be in the summer months any more.
There are some saving graces such as the Highline, food truck mania, the upcoming BBQ festival at Madison Park, reservations practically anywhere, but who wants to go out into a thicket of humid air mass? My only solution is to treat this summer like a winter. Hibernate. I hit the 97th St. Farmer’s Market and bought everything in site. In the comfort of A/C, I will make pesto, tomato sauce, pickle vegetables, hot sauce, and ice cream. I will freeze all the fresh meat products for a balmy day and only come out of my cave when the temperature is below 85 degrees. With food, wine and a/c, I will survive this harsh summer. Cooking will take the heat off. Being in the kitchen, where it is supposed to be hot is far more gratifying than the alternative – traveling via train anywhere.
Let’s start with a simple pesto recipe, one I used recently with some fresh spinach and cheese ravioli from Eataly.
2 cups basil, 1/2 cup evoo, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup pignoli (pine nuts), 1/2 cup grated parm reggiano/pecorino romano
In a food processor, add all ingredients while slowly drizzling olive oil.
Store in a tight jar with a film of olive oil on top to preserve color and freshness.