Every summer gardens everywhere are bursting with fresh produce ready to be harvested. Our favorite way to enjoy it is this Farmer John Pesto Garden Salad.
One of my sweet friends in college taught me a lot about life, how to snow machine (yes, in Idaho it’s snow machine not snow mobile like the rest of the world says), how to laugh until your sides hurt, the embarrassing things that can happen while pregnant and most importantly, that there’s nothing better than fresh from the garden veggies.
I ate over at her house a few times and she’d always grab a bunch of produce and just toss it all in a bowl for us to devour and it really did taste like hard work, sunshine, front porch swings, freshly cut grass and that warm summer breeze all at once. In other words, until you’ve had a big bowl of fresh from the ground veggies you haven’t experienced contentment.
What is Pesto?
Pesto is a sauce of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, typically served with pasta.
Last weekend we visited the Salt Lake City Farmer’s market and while it’s hard to love it as much as the Portland Farmer’s market I felt completely inspired again. We met the nicest people from Rustic Tomato. Now, we share every recipe we’ve got and hold nothing back, except Mom’s chili sauce recipe. It is her only secret recipe and we honor her by not giving it out. It is fantastic and we love it more than anything. There’s a few secrets that I’ve never, ever seen listed in another recipe for chili sauce. That being said, this Rustic Tomato Chili sauce is very similar even if it is still missing two of our secrets. You can get it at the market or at Harmon’s in Utah and you absolutely must, must, must go buy it.
Being around all of that beautiful, colorful food made me feel so rejuvenated again. Sometimes you have to get back to the basics and you always feel better eating that way.
Start by blanching your corn, or grilling it. Obviously with Cade in the house we tend to stick to the grill. For blanching just boil the corn, on the cob for a few minutes and quickly move it to a bowl of ice water to quickly stop the cooking process. Do the same with the green beans.
If you choose to grill the corn, keep them in the husks and grill for about 15 minutes, or out of the husks, turning often just until charred marks begin to appear, about 5 minutes on medium high heat.
Once the cooked veggies are cool, toss everything into a large bowl like this beautiful wood bowl that we used, with our famous Pesto and a few slices of bacon. Serve immediately, or if you need to prep it ahead just wait on tossing in the bacon and pesto so nothing gets mushy.
What is the difference between cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes?
Grape tomatoes are oblong and shaped like grapes.
They’re about half the size of cherry tomatoes, with thicker skins.
Grape tomatoes aren’t as sweet as cherry tomatoes, and their flesh is meatier and less watery.
Farmer John Pesto Garden Salad
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Farmer John Pesto Garden Salad
- 2 Ears of Sweet Corn
- 1/2 Pound Green Beans
- 1 Medium English Cucumber sliced
- 2 Cups Grape Tomatoes sliced in half
- 1-2 Large Avocados chopped
- 1/3 Cup Sliced Red Onion
- 1/3 Cup Pesto
- 3 Slices Bacon cooked and chopped *optional
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Set aside.
- Place the corn in a large pot and fill until just covered with water.
- Add a few pinches of salt and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the corn looks vibrant in color and the kernals are tender.
- Place the corn directly into the ice bath.
- Place the green beans into the pot of water and bring back to a boil for 3-5 minutes and then place in the ice bath, adding more ice if necessary.
- Drain both veggies.
- Alternately, grill the corn, turning occasionally over medium heat until charred in places.
- Remove from grill.
- Cut the corn from the cob and chop the beans in half.
- Once totally cool, add all of the veggies to a large bowl and toss with the pesto.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with bacon.
- Serve immediately, or if you need to wait, do not yet add the onion, avocado and bacon. Add those right before serving. If you need to prepare a day ahead just keep the pesto out as well and toss before serving.