Category Archives: Pesto

THE BASIL RITUAL

There’s a rhythm about fall that seems to be well, common.

At least among my friends.

With our first freeze predicted for Halloween

I began cutting basil on Thursday

And again on Friday.

Buckets of basil.

DSCN5488

I always plant too much

Which means I have basil to spare

For months on end.

I use it during the growing season.

But by October it’s giant and going to seed everywhere.

Yet I feel that none of it can go to waste.

I either have to dry it

Or make pesto

Or find it a home.

Pesto is my first plan of attack.

So on Friday

When the weather men were issuing their threatening forecast.

My sister Ann called and said.

“So I’m guessing you’re making pesto.”

And I was.

She’s in the same place I am.

With way too much basil.

But she has the advantage of being able to feed her extra.

To her bunnies.

I on the other hand

Do not have hungry bunnies living at my house.

So when a friend dropped by with  a cape for Coco to wear for Halloween.

IMG_3128

She was rewarded with bonus basil.

Others who dropped by were also given the chance

But most declined.

I thought of bagging it up in little bags and giving it out

To the 400+ kids who came trick or treating.

But there might be potential for misunderstanding there!

I’ve now made 3 batches of regular pesto

3 C. packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese

6 cloves chopped garlic

6 T toasted Pine nuts

4 T olive oil

Put all ingredients into food processor.

Pulse till well chopped but not a puree.

Spray ice-cube tray with non-stick cooking spray.

Freeze.  Then store cubes in plastic bag.

It’s about a tablespoon or 2 of pesto.

And a couple of roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto.

DSCN5498

3 medium red bell peppers 0r 1 jar .

12 sun-dried tomatoes – soaked and drained

1 clove garlic chopped

3 T roasted pine nuts.

a handful of fresh basil leaves.

A handful of fresh Italian parsley

Juice of 1 lemon

2 T grated parmesan cheese.

Prepare like basil pesto

I’ve also been roasting and freezing the last of the ripe tomatoes.

DSCN5507

All of which is giving our house

A rather Italian aroma.

Now…what to do with all those

Peppers and green tomatoes.

DSCN5512

And in the end

It didn’t even freeze!

Gail

The other fall ritual I love

Is sharing plants with friends

Kay and Tori came by on Saturday morning.

DSCN5494

To dig the last of the ferns.

New plans for this area

Come spring.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Basil, Fall Vegetables, Gardening Friends, Green Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Pesto, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Tomato, Uncategorized, Vegetables

PESTO TIME

Last weekend while I was far away.

We came very near to an unseasonably early freeze.

Which can only mean one thing.

Time to get serious about making basil pesto!

Every year I think I’ll get to it all along the way.

Instead I just go into the garden

And cut the basil that I need.

Then late in the season

I pick an afternoon

And make pesto.

That yummy herb paste

That can be used in well…everything.

My habit it to make several batches.

Freeze them in ice-cube trays.

Then place the frozen cubes in a freezer bag.

Whenever you need a bit of basil flavor

It’s right there – ready to go.

I’ve also been known to open up the bag

On a particularly frigid winter day.

And breath deeply.

The smell of fresh basil will take you back

To the heat of summer.

My preferred location!

I use the recipe of a family friend, Liz.

Whose daughter, Mary, is also a friend of mine.

Liz’s Basil Pesto

3 C. packed fresh Basil leaves

1/3 C. grated fresh Parmesan Cheese

3 cloves Garlic

6 T. Toasted Pine nuts

4 – 6 T Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 Lemon – keeps it bright green!

Pulse 1st 4 ingredients in food processor or blender.

Pulse and scrape sides until well chopped.

How smooth or chunky is a matter of personal taste.

I like chunky.

Then slowly add olive oil.

Stir in Lemon juice.

Freeze in ice-cube trays sprayed with non-stick cooking oil.

When completely frozen remove from tray to freezer bag.

There you have it.

Summer in a bag.

I grow Basil everywhere.

In the ground.

In pots outside.

In pots inside.

Never want to be without the stuff!

About a month ago I started my indoor pots.

The plants are only a few inches tall now

But by the time the outside basil freezes

The inside basil should be well on its way.

Happy in the south-facing window

Of my toasty warm 2nd floor office.

I’ll also bring in the pot I had upstairs last winter

Which has loved being outside all summer.

I wonder how long a basil plant can live.

We are about to find out!

Hope you are enjoying these cooler days.

Gail

1 Comment

Filed under Basil, container gardening, Herbs, late summer garden, Pesto