Recently, a dear friend mentioned a favorite farm near her house. I checked out the farm’s website (the turn of technology that a farm has its own website makes me laugh just a little), and noticed their recipe for pesto. Given our abundance for fresh basil right now, that quickly led to Saturday night’s dinner.
We’re going to be moving some time over the summer, but I didn’t want to totally miss out on gardening, so this season, I put my focus on container gardening, that way everything can be moved easily without disturbing roots unnecessarily. And we don’t miss a thing. Into the pots went basil, oregano, cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, spinach, dill, chives and squash. Some of the plantings have been growing fiercely (hello basil!), and as they’ve outgrown their pots, we’ve transplanted them into larger pots. Nick has been doing a fantastic job of keeping everything well watered and eagerly checks on how everything is growing regularly. I love that he gets to see something go from seed to table – so many great lessons there, and the more involved he is in the process, the more exciting it is… for both of us.
Our basil has been growing like crazy, so I sent him off to pick a bunch of leaves. He was awed to find out that it would turn into a pasta dinner. Armed with the pesto recipe from Renninger’s Farm, the dish was whipped up in nothing flat. I loved this pesto. Pesto tends to be a strong flavor, and this one, although unmistakably pesto, was a little more subtle, thereby making it a little more palatable for the kids. A little garlic bread and some sliced fresh tomatoes with nothing more than a sprinkling of salt and dinner was done. Fresh from the garden. It doesn’t get better.
Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
Recipe courtesy of Renninger’s Farm
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.