and using fresh herbs every day! Last night, I made a Caprese salad with tomato slices, basil leaves, sprinkled with parmesan, and drizzled with balsamic dressing.
Today I trimmed my daughter's basil,and surprised her by making one of her favorites---- pesto!
Then I cooked some spiral Rotini pasta to go with it, so when she comes home, her dinner is all ready.
|My little patio herb garden.|
Did you ever stake a cantalope plant?
I wonder if the stake will support the fruit as it grows bigger.
I also have okra, for the first time. It is a really pretty plant to have in a flower and vegetable garden.
Do you know a good way to use okra, besides fried okra, and gumbo?
Jersey tomatoes are the best!
|Pesto ingredients, are mostly things we usually have on hand. |
Except the pine nuts, but you can make pesto without them,
or use any other nuts you may have.
Quick and Easy Pesto
2-3 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts,
or substitute walnuts, almonds or cashews
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice, to prevent pesto turning brown
Pick fresh basil leaves off the stems, wash and dry.
Combine leaves, nuts, olive oil and place in food processor
or other chopper/ blender.
Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
Add garlic and lemon juice.
Stir into hot pasta, or use as a spread.
Refrigerate for up to one week, freeze to preserve longer.
Shortcuts: I used prepared minced garlic, and purchased already-shredded cheese.
Lemon or lime juice will keep the pesto from browning, and add a little tang.
Combine and blend.
|There you go! Fresh Pesto!|
It makes a tasty pasta dish. Simply stir into any type cooked pasta,
or use as a sandwich or cracker spread.
I've had pesto on chicken paninis, pizza and various hors d'ourves.
I've heard that Italian grandmothers hand chop the basil and nuts because they prefer the courser texture, but I like the convenience of using a food processor. Quick and easy!
It keeps in a covered bowl, in refrigerator for up to one week.
Canning is not recommended, but basil freezes well, for later use.
You can freeze in an ice cube tray. Then pop them out and bag them.
Thaw one or more as needed. It's great to have fresh-tasting pesto year-round.
Even Tommy likes it!
And he really loves his own home-grown tomatoes
in his grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.