Bluedot Living will regularly run recipes and tips from Pascale Beale, the popular Santa Barbara-based chef, teacher, and cookbook author. Here, she shares her recipe for Basil Shallot Pesto, which is a great way to use herbs from your home garden.
In the words of the late famed, French-born LA and DC chef Michel Richard, Pascale Beale’s food “reflects the essence of the seasons and she champions use of the freshest possible organic ingredients.” Beale talks a lot about the joy of eating with others and the importance of planning meals with friends and family. See her conversation with Bluedot contributing editor Catherine Walthers here.
3 large handfuls (about 3 cups) basil leaves – using different varieties of basil if possible
1 shallot – peeled and halved
1/2 cup pine nuts
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
7–8 grinds black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the basil, shallot, pine nuts with the juice and zest of 1 lemon using short pulses. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated. Then, with the machine running, pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. You will need at least 1/2 to 2/3 cup of olive oil to get the right consistency.
Use in pasta dishes, as part of a vinaigrette, on roasted vegetables or in sandwiches and wraps.
Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family which has always been passionate about food, wine, and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. After graduating from Business School in London, and 15 years working in the property markets in California, she returned to her first passion, cooking. She opened the Pascale’s Kitchen Cooking School in 1999 which specializes in farmer’s market tours, seasonal cooking classes, bread making workshops and team building events. Her company also brings a range of culinary products, including her signature line of custom blended herbs and spices, oils and vinegars, kitchen and tableware, to its customers, making cooking pleasurable, delicious and fun. Pascale is also the author of 10 Mediterranean style, and ingredient focused cook books and is an award winning columnist for Edible Santa Barbara. She released her latest book, 9’ x 12’: Adventures in a Small Kitchen, Recipes for Stirring Times, a subscription based, multi-media book 9 x 12 | Pascale's Kitchen | Pascale Beale | Substack in January 2023.