snacks

Gazpacho with Ligurian Pesto

Summer in Italy reminds me so much of Alice in Wonderland. It is wonderland because everything is so new to me and I enjoy my wander by mostly guessing with minimal knowledge of Italian. What’s fascinating is how vibrant this country gets when summer hits and how everyone would talk solely and so enthusiastically about vacanza besides food. And of course, adapting to such culture can be a little too easy.  

A few weekends back, our colleagues invited me and Marco to visit this amazing little village called Cervo on the Italian Riviera coast of Liguria. One word- WOW. The place is more beautiful than the word itself. I was breathtaken by the magnificent seaview and full blown masses of bougainvilleas. Having heard so much about the famous Ligurian pesto, I just gotta whip up something to remember this special place by.  ;)

Gazpacho with pesto

Serves: 2 persons

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients: 

2-3 buffalo tomatoes, cut into about 1/2 inch thick slices

1 bowl cherry tomatoes, halved and leave a few for garnishing 

2 celery stalks, cut into small bits

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp chili flakes 

1 handful fresh basil

extra-virgin olive oil

For pesto: 

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1 handful roasted pine nuts 

2 tbsp grated parmesan or Pecorino

1 small garlic clove

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

— Blend together basil, pine nuts, garlic, grated cheese, and olive oil in a food processor and season.  

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.  On a baking tray, drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil with buffalo tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.  Season.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Set aside and let it cool.  

2. While roasting the tomatoes, preheat a frying pan on medium heat. Cook garlic, onion, and chili flakes until onions are translucent. Season. Turn off the heat and set aside.  

3. Combine the cooked vegetables and fresh basil leaves in a food processor and blend for a minute or two according to the consistency that you like.  Season if needed.  

4. Transfer the soup to a big bowl and chill it for at least 1-2 hour in the fridge.  

5. Garnish with some chopped celery, tomatoes, and add a dollop of fresh pesto with a drizzle of olive oil before serving.  

Gazpacho with Ligurian Pesto

Cervo is only a couple hours away of driving from Milan.  

This little town is full of bougainvilleas.  How beautiful!

There is a reason why Cervo is officially classed as one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy."

Cervo is truly an amazing medieval coastal town.  

Don't forget to swing by this cute shop to enjoy a glass of cold-pressed juice.

How could we leave without grabbing some fine oil and pesto?!