Tag Archives: summer

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

Simple Blueberry Pie Filling

I made this easy-peasy blueberry pie a couple of weeks ago and it went over really well.  It’s not anything mind-blowing or revolutionary, and I even used (gasp!) store-bought pie crusts.

Simple Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

My pie crusts browned a wee bit too much, but overall it was a simple and delicious pie.  The blueberries I picked a few weeks ago from my parents’ house (that I used frozen), so we’re going to categorize this pie as farm-to-table-despite-the-store-bought-crusts.

Easy Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Simple Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe
via foodnetwork.com


– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– a scant 1/2 cup water
– 3.5 cups blueberries
– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water.  Add to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until thickened. Set aside to cool as you prepare the pastry. Once cooled add the berries and lemon juice.

Using whatever pie dough you’d like (I posted about my favorite pie dough recipe here, but store-bought refrigerated dough will do the trick, too), roll out one round and place over the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.  Pour the filling into the pan, sprinkle with a bit more lemon juice, then add the other round of dough.  Pinch the sides together and flute them, fork them, make them pretty.  Cut vents and sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie onto a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, slice, and enjoy with some homemade vanilla ice cream!  Or might I recommend some homemade honey ice cream?

Easy Blueberry Pie Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

You can vent this pie with any cuts you’d like.  You could use a Pie Bird.  You could even do a lattice crust!  Whatever blows your skirt up.

Simple Blueberry Pie | Oysters & Pearls

This pie is really simple to whip up, and frozen berries work just perfectly.

Simple Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

And if anyone mentions your overly brown crust, they didn’t need any pie, anyhow.

Shop this post:
pie bird (Le Creuset Stoneware Pie Bird, R & M Pie Bird Set of 2, Black & White)
ceramic pie dish (Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish)
striped dish towel (Vintage Dish Towels, Blue Striped)

You may also enjoy:
Sand Pear Tart with Pecan Frangipani & Mayhaw Jelly Glaze
Strawberry Almond Crumb Tart
Sand Pear Pie
Collard Greens and Pecan Pies
Cherry Hand Pies
Coconut Creme Pie
Key Lime Pie

Until Next Time

Refrigerator Pickled Banana Peppers

Yep, more pickles.  This recipe is perfect for those of you with a glut of banana peppers, whether you grew them yourself or you have a generous friend or farmer.


I like pickled banana peppers on lots of things.  Like pizza, for instance.  Sandwiches.  On top of green salads.  Inside mayo-based salads.  With a fork.  I imagine that you can come up with some creative uses for these guys.


Refrigerator Pickled Banana Peppers Recipe


– 1 pound banana peppers
– 3 cups vinegar (5% acidity, can be white or apple cider)
– 2 cups water
– 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 2 garlic cloves
– 2 peppers, sliced length-wise (optional)


Slice banana peppers into thin rings.  Remove seeds and ribs, if desired.  Even though banana peppers are not very hot, I still highly recommend wearing gloves for this step.  Not based on experience or anything…

Fill mason jar to the top with pepper rings and add garlic cloves and peppers to the jar.  I used serrano peppers because that’s what we had that day, but choose your pepper according to how hot you like your pickled peppers.  Or leave them out altogether.

In a saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar and stir until dissolved.  Bring it to a boil and pour into the jar over the peppers.  Let cool a bit, tighten lid on the jar, and let cool completely.  Once the jar is room temperature, put in the refrigerator.  Hold yourself back for at least 24 hours before eating.


Refrigerator pickles stay good for up to 3 months, but I doubt they make it that long.


Let’s say you have way more than a pound of peppers.  If you’d like to can them so that they’re shelf stable, follow my Simple Canning Instructions and process the jars of banana peppers in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Pickles processed properly will last in a cool dark place for up to a year.  If they look funny, toss them.  Botulism ain’t no joke.


What’s your favorite way to use pickled banana peppers?  I’m always up for a new way of incorporating pickles into my every day meals.

Shop this post:
jars (these are pretty: Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6
beginner canning tools set (Norpro 6 Piece Canning Set)
my grandparents’ antique enamel kitchen table (similar)

You may also like:
Canning Basics
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Spicy Pickled Okra
Canning Tomatoes
Canning Sand Pears
Pickled Peppers, Part 1
Harris’ Grandmother’s Pickles

Until Next Time