One of the best things about being in Italy was the fresh food, local ingredients and simple creations with amazing flavors. This salad came to me as I was sampling the fresh tomatoes and basil on a recent trip to Tuscany. In one of the small stores I visited I saw a jar of pesto that looked appetizing. I remembered an Italian friend of mine saying that when she makes pesto she jars it without the cheese and tops with olive oil to keep. When she is ready to use each jar she adds the cheese, but for me it works out perfectly, senza formaggio! I picked up the jar and read the ingredients, now my Italian isn’t anywhere near where I would like it to be, but I could tell there was no cheese, I even asked the man who quickly told me that yes pesto has cheese, but when I showed him the jar, he said I was right! And the pesto buying began!
When back in England, to my surprise there were more jars of pesto without cheese and with the fresh smell of basil and tomatoes still dancing in my head from Italy, the cooking began.
*I normally make my own pesto which you can read about under my Recipe Tab–> Meals, but sometimes it is nice to take a short cut and especially for a busy weeknight of cooking!
1 can of artichoke hearts, if artichokes are in season near you then go for fresh!
5 medium sized tomatoes
1 handful of fresh basil
1 jar of pesto, senza formaggio
Drain and rinse the artichokes
Wash the tomatoes and basil
Roughly chop the artichokes
Give the tomatoes a smaller chop
Finely chop the basil
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
Stir in the desired about of pesto and mix well
Serve as a side, over salad, pasta, pizza, the options are endless!