First cold day of the season. Gray, overcast. The kind of day I love after seemingly endless summer. When I walked into Outer Aisle, our locally farmed produce market, I was bowled over by the colorful abundance of all the new fall fruits and vegetables. I take serious inspiration from a fresh picked farm carrot. After all, as much as I love bell peppers and tomatoes, eating them day in and day out can cause major food burnout.
I passed by our garden as I staggered into the house carrying three jam-packed bags of store goodies. The basil plant was looking somewhat long in the tooth. So I did the only humane thing I could think of…. Rip it out. Time to put it out of its misery. Time to make some serious pesto.
About as simple a recipe as you’ll ever find. Less is more as is often the case…
- 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 cloves of peeled and roughly chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup broken walnut pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- several grindings of fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
Whirl in blender or food processor. Spoon into bowl and mix in 3 ounces of finely grated Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese). Use right away or freeze for use over the dark days of winter…
This is about just the right amount of pesto for one pound of pasta. Make it whole wheat pasta for more fiber and nutrition. Think you don’t like whole wheat pasta? Try different kinds until you find one you can live with. Then keep trying it. Whenever you change how or what you eat, there’s a learning curve. Stick with it!
For the top 5 ways to use pesto look here.
For the Freezer: A great way to have garden pesto all winter. After blending, and before adding the cheese, spoon pesto into ice-cube trays. I love the silicon kind. When completely frozen, pop them out of the tray and into a dated zip lock freezer bag. Add cheese only when thawed and ready to serve.
Now what to do with all those green tomatoes…