Meet Nikki

I am a chef, TV host, cookbook author, blogger, radio host, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which makes veggies the star of the plate. 

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    Basil + Mint Pesto



    Everybody loves herbs: basil is an Italian staple, rosemary is meat’s best friend and parsley seems to find its way into everything...and mint...well mint...well mint...makes...a great cocktail?!

    True enough, but let’s give poor mint a little more credit!!





    Mint’s fresh and vibrant flavor simply screams summer. And quite frankly Mr. Mint is sick of being thought of as a dessert/cocktail-only herb. He is ready to please your palate and make his mark on your dinner plate.

    So to celebrate him and his delightfully minty ways I bring you...this pesto!!






    I had spent most of my childhood and many years into my adult life avoiding vegetables and particularly any and everything green! Then when I was 22 I had pesto for the first time.


    One fateful evening, as a guest at someone’s house I was face to face with a green sauce that was settling in comfortably on my plate and corrupting my beautiful pasta!


    As it was a situation where throwing my plate on the floor and yelling “ewww”would have been frowned upon, I conceded, and put the green chunky slime in my mouth. 






    Then suddenly, time stopped and everything stilled as the potent, balanced flavors of basil and garlic showed me how very very wrong I was to judge this green mixture so quickly. Now this, this was heaven spooned over pasta!!!





    Now, I am a pesto aficionado. I am that annoying person who likes it made in a very particular and very traditional way.  And I am not above pouting over the addition of walnuts or butter to my precious pesto.


    So how can I add mint to this delicious pesto?? Because BASIL and MINT PESTO is a whole new creation, not just a variation. And if you can muster the will to give Mr. Mint a starring role, well then, he will show you just what he can do...








    5 cups Basil, loosely packed

    2 cups Mint, loosely packed

    ½ cup Pine Nuts, toasted

    6 Garlic Cloves

    1 cup Parmesan

    1tsp Salt

    2 Lemons, Zest and Juice

    ½ cup Olive Oil



    Toast pine nuts. Pulse everything in a food processor except for the oil. Then stream in oil while food processor is running. Add extra oil if needed.  Serve over hot pasta. Top with sundried tomatoes and extra pine nuts if desired.

    Makes 2.5cups, enough for 2lbs of pasta







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