Sunday, August 9, 2009

Classic Pesto, aka, "That Green Stuff"

Woe unto me for neglecting my beloved food blog for so very long. As one reader wrote, "The guacamole song was great, but isn't it time for an update?"

Yes, it is. And since I'm taking care of neglected things, I'll share a recipe I've neglected to post.

My young friend Lemony happened to be visiting us during basil season last year, and she was grateful for her very first taste of pesto. This year, I direct-seeded a whole row of Profuma di Genova and Italian Pesto basil from seed purchased from Renee's Garden Seeds. I was worried that I had planted a bit too early, since basil doesn't care for cold, and then, when the tiny, fragrant leaves emerged from the ground, I was worried that I had planted them too closely at the front of the row and too sparsely at the back. But after transplanting a few and reseeding a few more, I have a full, beautiful crop of basil with enough to spare to anyone who asks (so feel free to ask!).

Last week, dear Lemony was here again. For the past year, she has been asking me to post the recipe for that "delicious green stuff," but I was certain I'd already posted it. Alas, I had not. But I did make two batches, one for immediate consumption and one for my two eldest, Lemony and their other friends to take to Lollapalooza. I just received a tweet from Lemony saying, "We're out of pesto. Send help."

As much as I'd like to take all of the credit for this delicious "green stuff," I have to admit that this pesto recipe comes from Renee's Garden's cookbook, Recipes from a Kitchen Garden. This book, along with More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden, are simply necessary for those who eat seasonally, whether it's from your own garden or from the local farmer's market. Uses for all of that delicious fresh produce and herbs pack each book. There is a generous sampling of the recipes on Renee's Garden's website as well. As you might be able to tell, I'm a big fan of Renee's Garden, seeds, cookbooks and all. If you read about Renee's Garden, I think you'll see why.

And now that I have searched my blog, I see that I've failed to share Renee's Garden's recipe for Orzo Casserole, too! Oh, my. Maybe tomorrow? Look for it!


Classic Fresh Pesto Sauce
(slightly adapted)

Can be frozen for later use!

3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 large cloves garlic (more if you love it!)
1/2 cup pine nuts or pecan meats
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (be sure to use freshly grated cheese from a block, not the pre-grated stuff in plastic containers)
1 tsp fresh oregano or marjoram
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 1/3 cup fruity olive oil
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil and salt, in a food processor or blender. Slowly add enough olive oil to make a thick, smooth sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve on fresh pasta or toasted rustic bread. Makes about 2 cups.


Lo said...

mmm. Love the combo of herbs in the pesto. Bet that "delicious green stuff" ... on everything!

As far as food blog neglect goes... I can relate! My writing & cooking inspiration goes in streaks, and sometimes you just gotta take a break.

Thicket Dweller said...

You said it, Lo! The delicious green stuff *is* good on everything, bread, pasta, pizza, chicken, potatoes...YUM! :-)