Tuesday, July 28, 2009

But Don't Put Them in Your Gin and Tonic...

Summer is here, and that means that we get a farm share box every week. We joined a couple of years back, and it's been very successful. The food is organic and really fresh; we go once a week to the delivery site (it's only about 5 minutes away) and pick up our box. It's always like a little surprise to see what we get - most things are easily identifiable, but sometimes we get something that I have to look up (like garlic scapes). You take what comes in the box, which is good for me (although the children may disagree) because it gets me to try some new recipes and we get to eat something different than the same old things I tend to churn out of the kitchen.

Pretty much every week we get a handful of basil. The first year we joined the co-op, this little handful generally got shoved to the back of the refrigerator and forgotten, resulting in a little pile of black leaves in a startlingly short amount of time. Last year I decided to make pesto out of it, and it was very successful; we ate pesto all winter. Since it's generally a small amount of basil, it doesn't always make a full batch, but it doesn't matter, because I just take what I've got, freeze it in ice cube trays, and then bag the frozen cubes. Then when I need some, a cube or two comes out and gets plopped on my pasta. Voila, dinner is served!

Here's the pesto recipe I use, and it can easily be halved when one only has a little bit of basil:

2 cups packed basil (I use just the leaves - the stems are a bit fibrous for my taste)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic

Plop all these in the blender and whiz them around until you've got a paste. Then scrape it into a bowl and add:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
3 Tablespoons softened butter

Mix it well, and either freeze or refrigerate. It keeps beautifully in the freezer, and lets you have a little bit of really yummy summer in the middle of winter when everything is rather gray.


Bezzie said...

the oil and salt freeze? cool! I wish I had more basil!

grmybmy said...

The slugs have been enjoying my basil...

Sue said...

oooh yummy! As you know I just recently discovered (canned) Pesto and it was delish with the cold pasta, cherry tomatoes and feta. I bet fresh Pesto is even better! One question, where do you find Pine Nuts?