Sunday, September 15, 2013

Garden Fresh Pesto

Posted by Cris

Basil may be the BEST thing ever!  I eat it fresh in LOTS of things all summer long.
 Garden tomatoes, eggs, with lemon in water, pasta of course, and
 whatever else I think might benefit from a little love. 

And what do you do come fall when you have a laundry basket full of basil "leftover" in the garden?

Pick the leaves off one by one (enlist help if you can!) 

Abby is the one that taught me about pesto!  She is my wife - in that, years ago, back when I worked a crazy crisis intervention job, she worked with me.  We shared a cubicle, a pager, and lots of laughs.  I saw her more than my husband.  At some point, it made sense that we should marry, so we did! 
(More stories about her later!)

You need a food processor.  Start with garlic (5 cloves here)

Add 1 cup of walnuts.

Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

Add the basil (about 4 cups).

I ended up with about 12 cups of basil total this year -and rounds 2 and 3 in the food processor taught me, Add the garlic and basil first, then weigh it down with the nuts and cheese. Lessons learned.
Hit the pulse or on button and let it chop everything up.  Then you start streaming in about 1/2 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for those of you who are not Rachel Ray fans.)

You end up with PESTO!
 It's about the consistency of hummus, not too thick, not too runny. 

To Store the pesto and make it last year round, I spread mine into ice cube trays and freeze it.  
In a day or so, I'll pop the pesto cubes out and transfer to a ziploc bag. 
The great part is each pesto cube is the perfect serving amount for 1 person.  
Around this house, the only person that eats pesto is me.
 So yes, it is MINE, ALL MINE! 
(If you ask nicely, I might share, maybe)

By the time I was done, it was lunch time. So I made myself a grilled caprese sandwich with 2 slices of homemade artisan bread that Jon made, added my pesto, fresh mozzerella cheese, slices of fresh garden tomato, and put on the stove to grill.  

Gooey cheese, basil yumminess, sweet tomatoes! I savored EVERY little bite. 

I love our little backyard farm and all the delicious things I can make from it.
I would love to hear all of your ideas on what you do with pesto or basil.  Comment below! 


  1. If you save the seeds pod casings from the stems (not the tiny black seeds), you can dry them and semi-crush them to a manageable size. Then add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coarse salt. It will flavor the salt for cooking or sprinkling on finished dishes. It's my new favorite garnish. Very flavorful. The seed pods are the most flavorful and pungent part of the plant. Keep in a tight moisture free container and the flavor will last even longer. I've had mine for over a year, and I just add the dried seed pods every year.

  2. I love you wifey! And can't believe that I taught you about pesto, like you went 16 years before tasting it! ;) love that I can keep up with the farm through your blog, I may just have to restart mine.... Maybe!