I love pesto, in all its incarnations. Here, for a change, is a sweet one.
It uses mint and almonds, and one of the most delightful fruits of the season: peaches.
I thought the use of olive oil here might be a bit weird, but Francis Lam has a James Beard award and I do not, so…
♫ Suggested listening: Sweet Life. ♫
Click to listen: Frank Ocean – “Sweet Life”
From Francis Lam
For the mint pesto
- ½ cup almonds, preferably without skins
- 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 ounces fresh mint
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 pinch salt
For the peaches
- 4 ripe peaches
- 1 lemon (for juice and zest)
- Extra mint leaves for garnish (chiffonaded, if you’re fancy)
- Toast the nuts: In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Add almonds and toast, stirring. You’ll hear a gentle sizzle. Keep stirring the nuts until they turn fragrant, but not too too brown. Toss with a generous pinch of salt and put in the food processor.
- Take mint leaves off the stems until you have about 1 cup. Add into food processor. Process until it’s about the consistency of little pebbles (see photo).
- Add the sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon, and pulse a little more.
- Transfer to bowl, add the rest of the olive oil.
- Slice peaches about 1/2 inch thick and put in a bowl. Grate some lemon zest over it, add the juice of the other half of the lemon, and toss.
- Combine with pesto to taste (you may have some extra)
- Garnish with more mint leaves
- Astound your guests!