We consider our deck a room in our house, and it happens to be one of our favorite rooms. After living in an apartment with no outdoor space for years, having an outdoor space is a big deal. We utilize this space all of the time. I grill in the rain, the snow, and the blistering heat. My husband and I will sit outside with some red wine or scotch when it is chilly out bundled up, and sip a nice cold Chardonnay when the humidity is high. Nothing keeps us from enjoying our outdoor room.
After work or on the weekends we love sitting outside with a cocktail/wine and a great appetizer while the grill heats up. I recently watched Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network and she made this incredible avocado basil pestoavocado basil pesto and put it on toast. It was perfect timing because that evening we were planning on having mint juleps and an app on the deck. I used her recipe but tweaked the recipe just a bit.
Avocado Basil Pesto with toasted french bread
Traditional pesto uses pine nuts. Pine nuts are pretty expensive and you don’t usually get very much. Walnuts have become a favorite to use in pesto. They aren’t that expensive and they still give that nutty flavor.
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- 1 large bunch fresh basil leaves – I added a little bit more than 3 ounces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted french toast
In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, avocados and basil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Get ready for your new favorite spring/summer app!
As I said above we had this app on the deck with Mint Juleps. Never made a Mint Julep!? They’re easy and a great spring/summer cocktail to sip on.
- Simple syrup, about an ounce or two. Depends on how sweet you want it
- Bourbon, 3 ounces or so…
- Crushed ice
Make the simple syrup. 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Boil in pot and set aside to cool. In a shaker, muddle the mint (use as much as you want, because you can’t have enough mint!) add simple syrup (1 ounce) and bourbon (3 ounces). Shake that bad boy up and pour over crushed ice. Top with more mint.
There you have it. A typical evening on the deck at the Brooks home. Enjoy!!!