Come take a look at the garden and enjoy my first of the season pesto recipe. Working in the garden is my respite, every year a new design.
Way back in mid-March, I sowed the seeds for the beginnings of our garden. That’s how it works around here; for a couple months, our south-facing windows are filled with garden trays, taking in all the loving care until they’re strong enough (and the threat of freezing nights is gone) to be planted in the garden. Attention, dedication and patience is the trifecta for gardens and gardeners alike, and I try my hardest for due diligence knowing that soon, the plants will bear fruit.
A Look At The Garden
The weeds this year have been a challenge. Way more than years past, it seems. I noticed a few small ones and then the next morning when I was watering, each bed was so full of weeds, that my garden looked neglected. Almost.
So I took my grumpy self to the barn to collect a few tools, and bellyached my way up to the garden to try and get a handle on things. I opened the gates with more attitude than a toddler, tossed the basket wherever, threw down the foamy-mat-thingie to kneel on, and started to weed.
Putting my hand at the base and pulling up, the weed came up, root and all. Then another. And another. And in that short moment, I found some peace. Each pull of a weed was gratification, and I found myself……gasp…..enjoying myself.
I got lost in thought. I thought a little bit about everything, I guess, all while filling up that basket with the weeds and then throwing them in the trash. I didn’t even bother turning on a podcast. I started in the far end of the garden, then worked my way forward. One bed cleaned out, then another. Before I knew it, four hours had passed, yet it didn’t feel like it. One last bed to turn my attention to. My herb garden.
I can’t say it’s my favorite bed in my garden simply because I’m grateful for them all once harvest time comes around, but for the herbs, well, they’re ready to harvest weeks before anything else. The great thing about herbs is that they grow quickly, much to my delight, and my basil was a sight for sore eyes that day when I took on those weeds. It was voluminous and beautiful, and before I knew it I was snipping at it before it even dawned on me that I should have taken a photo. Nonetheless though, the makings of first of the season pesto was upon me.
A smear of homemade pesto on toast with diced tomatoes over top was the best way to end a day of weeding. And rewarding because the main ingredient came from my garden.
First Of The Season Pesto
I’ve tried many variations of making pesto, with changing out different nuts, adding spinach, even omitting basil all together and using spring peas. Although each have their virtues, my favorite is the classic recipe, using basil, pine nuts, and heavy on the parmesan cheese. Here’s my recipe.
- food processor
- 1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Place pignolis and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds.
- Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely puréed.
- Add the parmesan cheese and purée for one more minute. Serve.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil over top, for up to four days.
- Can be stored in the freezer with a thin layer of olive oil over top for up to 6 months.