Presto: Pesto!

When life gets cold…make pesto.

With the night air approaching freezing in North Carolina, my backyard basil recently began browning. I picked all remaining leaves with some two-year-old help.

Of course–much to my chagrin–I was a little too late for some of the basil…

After harvesting our year’s pine nut crop procuring plenty of pine nuts, the entire process was utterly simple. A little measuring and Cuisinart pulsing later, I had a nice supply of pesto, whose insistence on browning immediately did not endear it to this photographer. But as I say–’taste trumps appearance.’

While this process is second nature for many of you, it was my first experience turning my end-of-garden basil into a usable product. And it underscores the beauty of those old foodways like end-of-garden cooking and canning. While eating food picked that day is fabulous, why let the changing season halt garden-grown eating.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 3, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I taught my nieces, nephew, and son to make pesto this year. We had a bumper crop with about 50 basil plants. I didn’t want to waste it all, but couldn’t bear to deal with so much of it, so I showed the kids what to do, and they did it themselves. It was a sight to behold–six kids with garden clippers, salad spinner, food processor, and all the other pesto-making accoutrements, going through the basil as if a swarm of locusts had hit.

    I think we’ll do it this way next year, too.

  2. Posted November 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    A swarm of benevolent, pesto-loving locusts! Sounds like a lot of fun, Laura. Thanks for sharing that image.

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