½ cup pine nuts
1 cup water
1 small English cucumber (about 9 ounces), peeled and chopped
1 small piece of shallot, peeled (about the size of an almond)
1 slice white bread, crust removed
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup white grape juice
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Place pine nuts and water in small saucepan and bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for ½ hour.
2. Drain well, discard water, and place nuts in blender with cucumber, shallot, bread, salt, pepper, grape juice, and rice wine vinegar. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until totally smooth, press through a very fine strainer. Chill. Taste and add teaspoon sugar if desired.
3. Serve cold in shot glasses with a drizzle of basil-mint oil (see recipe below).
1 bunch fresh basil
1/3 bunch of fresh mint
½ cup light olive oil (or olive and canola oil blend)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1. Clean basil and mint well by dunking vigorously in a bowl of cold water. Change water and repeat. Drain well and de-stem.
2. Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a soup pot and put both basil and mint leaves in, press down so all the leaves are submerged, and cook 7 seconds. Drain in a strainer, and push down to get rid of water.
3. Place leaves in blender with the rest of the ingredients, and blend on high for about 10 seconds until very smooth. Press through a very fine strainer. Keep at room temperature to serve, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.