Tag Archives: basil

Summer Pesto Pasta

Okay, so I have cooked just a wee little bit. This dish is a simple variation on our favorite summer pasta: PESTO.

Summer Pesto Pasta with Burst Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

I’ve posted the recipe for it before, but here it is again, for any newbies.  Simple, fresh pastas like this are my absolute favorite thing to cook in the summer.  Mainly because there aren’t any real measurements and I don’t have to think too much.

Light Summer Pesto Pasta Dish with Yellow Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

Simple Summer Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken Recipe
serves 2 to 4


– half box of angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
– 2 to 3 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces
– half a pint of cherry tomatoes

for the pesto
– 2 or 3 cups of fresh basil (any variety will do, but we prefer good ole sweet basil)
– 1/2 cup good olive oil
– a tablespoon or so (a hefty dash?) of good balsamic vinegar
– a tablespoon or so lemon juice
– 1/4 cup (ish) of pecans (can sub walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, etc.)
– 2 cloves (or more, or less) garlic, peeled
– salt & pepper to taste
– 1/4 cup grated Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme cheese (or parmesan, or any other salty hard cheese)


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the cheese, into a food processor and pulse until just combined.  Set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and place cherry tomatoes in it without any oil.  Allow to blister and pop, then remove.

Toss pasta, pesto, chicken, and burst tomatoes together.  Using a microplane, plane cheese over the top.  garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and serve immediately.

Summer Pesto Pasta with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Thomasville Tomme Cheese | Oysters & PearlsI like to microplane the cheese over the top, rather than include it in the pesto, because when it’s microplaned is a) prettier, and b) melts really easily, and c) it’s curly and fun.  Plus, I find that the pesto has a better texture without it.  These little heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes are just divine.  Delicious, easy to grow, and so bright and colorful!  They add a whole ‘nother dimension to this pasta.

Fresh and Easy Pesto Pasta with Burst Heirloom Tomatoes and Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

As you can tell, this type of pasta dish is my default dinner.  I always keep pasta in the pantry, we grow tons of basil every summer, and we keep hard cheeses in the fridge.  Add grilled chicken, shrimp, tomatoes, artichokes, whatever you can dream up/find in your kitchen.  I should rename this kitchen sink pesto pasta.

Until Next Time

Boozeday Tuesday: Honeysuckle Basil Lemonade

Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka Lemonade with Basil Simple Syrup | Oysters & Pearls

Thirsty yet?

A couple of sweltering Southwest Georgia Saturdays ago, my partnah Jessica Grace and I made a big, refreshing pitcher of Sweet Peach and Cathead Vodka’s Honeysuckle Basil Lemonade.  It was crazy simple, especially for a gal like me who never makes cocktails.  And might I add that it was insanely refreshing and delicious?  We started by picking a cup of basil leaves and a few sprigs of mint straight out of my little herb garden.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that!

Sweet Basil | Oysters & Pearls

We used sweet basil and a few sprigs of lemon basil to complement the lemonade.

Lemon Basil | Oysters & Pearls

Just mix up:

– 4 cups of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka
– 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
– 1 cup basil simple syrup
– 4 cups of water

To make basil simple syrup, combine in a small saucepan:

– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 cup washed basil leaves

Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, then strain out the basil leaves.  You can double or triple this recipe to make it ahead of time.  It will store for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

Mint and Rosemary | Oysters & Pearls

And FYI – you can do this with any herb you find particularly tasty!  Like mint, or rosemary. :)

Honeysuckle Vodka Lemonade | Oysters & Pearls Instagram

Pour over ice, garnish with a mint sprig, and you’re in business!  I highly recommend drinking this Cathead cocktail to make it through the dog days of summer. ;)

Shop this post:
farmhouse table (Southern Restoration Furniture)
acrylic hobnail drinkware (Pottery Barn, similar Hobnail Glass Jars)
honeysuckle vodka (locally: Olive Grove Fine Wine & Spirits, Cathead Vodka)
more recipes (Sweet Peach blog)

You may also like:
Southern Makers: Marc Ventry & Southern Restoration Furniture
Summer Shrimp Pasta Recipe
More Booze: 
Scuppernong Sangria Recipe
Spodee Spritzer
Simple Summer Mojitos

Until Next Time


Happy Birthday, Jim!

Is it really Monday again already? This weekend was too short!

I had some posts planned for this week, but instead of catching myself up, I’ll do a quick weekend wrap up, and we’ll get to the recipes later.

Jim's Birthday Cake | Oysters & Pearls

It was our good friend Jim’s 30th birthday on Saturday, so we threw him a party! Any excuse to bake a cake.

I picked some basil…

Making Fresh Pesto | Oysters & Pearls

And made some pesto orzo pasta. I won’t rehash it today, but {Click here} for my pesto recipe.

Fresh Pesto Orzo Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

I tried out a new recipe (post coming tomorrow) for a spicy corn salad that was a HIT with everyone.

Spicy Corn Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Everyone brought a steak, and we did a surf and turf supper. I made my baked buffalo shrimp, which everyone seemed to love. {Click here} for the recipe – you won’t regret it.

It was so much fun. We are so fortunate to have a good group of friends and it was great to be able to celebrate Jim’s birthday together.

To recap: there were a lot of laughs shared, and there may or may not have been some “icing” going on that had nothing to do with the cake. We are so mature.

The kids played with Wallace and Harold a whole lot.

SC, Karri & Wallace  | Oysters & Pearls

SC really loves Wallace, who she calls “her kitty.” Wallace, on the other hand, was a little nervous around SC, so they had some supervised visitation with Mrs. Karri.

Karri, SC, & Wallace | Oysters & Pearls

B just chilled and hung out with Harold.

B & Harold | Oysters & Pearls

Note the eyeblack leftover from Friday night. That boy loves football more than any kid I know.

Richard & Jim | Oysters & Pearls

The birthday boy got a lot of hugs from Richard.

And then Banks wanted in on the action and attempted a group picture. But somehow it almost turned into wrestling. I guess boys will boys, no matter how old they get.

This was the best I could do.

Banks, Richard, & Jim | Oysters & Pearls

After much begging and pleading from B, we finally sang happy birthday and Jim blew out the candles so we could eat cake.

Happy Birthday, Jim! | Oysters & Pearls

Jim's Cake & Dessert Table | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll post the cake recipes later this week, but here’s the spread. I gave Jim some pepper sauce and hot sauce I made last weekend (posts still to come – promise!) as a birthday gift. It was a last minute affair so I just threw all this together, but sometimes those are the very best parties. This one was pretty great!

Then yesterday while Wheat played golf, I went to my parents house to hang out and start a couple projects. One involved picking six gallons of grapes. :)

Grapes | Oysters & Pearls

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! It’s back to recipes tomorrow. Happy Monday!