A Day at the Beach

Mint Pesto
Prepare this sauce up to three days ahead.

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 c. packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 c. finely grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 c. packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a food processor, combine pistachios, garlic, parsley, and cheese; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add mint and pulse five times, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.

Gradually add olive oil and process until pesto is just blended (do not purée). Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, chill in an airtight container.

Sweet-and-Sour Peppers
Prepare up to two days before serving.

1 each large red and yellow peppers,
stemmed, deseeded, and cut into
1/4-inch-wide strips
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add peppers and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, stir in sugar, and add vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers soften and much of the liquid evap
orates, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook until peppers are tender and lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper, transfer mixture to a metal bowl, and let cool. If not using right away, chill in an airtight container; warm before serving.

Peach Crostata

Traditionally, crostatas were lattice-topped Italian jam tarts, but now the term is also used to describe any freeform pie with a fold-over crust. Sullivan likes to serve his with ginger ice cream from Lewis Brothers in Provincetown.

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter
1/2 c., plus 3 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c., plus 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 lb. unpeeled ripe peaches, pits
removed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tbsp. coarse sugar (you can substitute
regular table sugar)

First, make the crust: In a standing mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the beaten egg and beat until blended. Reduce mixer speed to low and add 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix until dough is well incorporated and without lumps, then cover in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use (at least 30 minutes and up to a day).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss peach slices with 3 tablespoons sugar and 6 tablespoons flour. Set aside.

Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper to form a 12-inch circle.

Transfer dough to a large baking sheet and peel off top layer of parchment.

Pour peach filling into center of dough and spread out in a circle, being sure to leave a 1 1/2-inch border around the tart (filling should not be higher than 1 1/2 inches; if it is, spoon some out and discard).

Gently fold pastry edges up and over filling, overlapping the folds as you make your way around the crust. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tablespoons water to make egg wash. Brush egg wash on edges of crostata and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 6.

The Quaffs
In keeping with the relaxed theme, Sullivan chose a range of Italian sparklers, whites, and reds: all high in quality and inexpensive enough to buy in bulk.

Grilled Clams:
Carpene Malvolti Prosecco NV (about $16)
Salad: Santa Maria La Palma “Aragosta” Vermentino, 2006 ($13)
Lamb: Rivera “Puer Apuliae” Nero di Troia, 2003 (about $55)
Dessert: Feudi di San Gregorio “Privilegio” Fiano di Avellino, 2002 (about $55)