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My building is in the process of fixing up the backyard and making it useable. This week we finally got a table and chairs for it. Yesterday, on my way to the farmers market I decided it was time to christen it and invite a couple friends over for a little get together. The original idea was just to drink beer, nothing fancy but then again that’s not really my style. I remembered I had some pizza dough in the freezer so I decided to make some pizzas to go along with the drinks. I had basil and garlic scapes so I decided to make a pesto white pie and I picked up some cherry tomatoes and made a margarita pie. I had these great strawberries from the farmer’s market and lots of basil so of course I thought cocktails! It was a really lovely evening. I am looking forward to many many more. I am actually sitting outside writing this…ah summertime.

Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto

This makes much more than is needed for some pizzas. It should be enough for a pound of pasta. 

Ingredients:
3 garlic scapes cut into inch long pieces
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup almonds toasted in a pan until they just start to brown
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Taste and season as required.

Cherry Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
1 clove of garlic minced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
6 basil leaves torn

Directions:
Saute garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.

Cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 15-20 minutes.

Pizza

You can find the recipe for the dough here. And the good news is it freezes well.

I grilled the pizza dough on a grill pan and finished them in the oven. If you have a grill you can grill the pizzas on it. Cook one side, flip and add topping until pizza is cooked and cheese is melted.

For the pesto pie I spread pesto on the dough and topped with shredded mozzarella.

For the tomato pie I used the cooked cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil and shredded mozzarella.

Strawberry Basil Cocktail

This makes a few drinks for a few people. 

Ingredients:
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 cups strawberries, trimmed and cut in half
10-15 basil leaves
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup lime juice

Directions:
Set aside a handful of strawberries and 6 basil leaves for garnish.

Bring water, sugar, strawberries and basil to a boil. Cook until the strawberries start to lose their color. Refrigerate to cool.

Strain liquid and combine with the remaining ingredients. Serve over ice.

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