Sunday, October 4, 2009

Peace Returns To The High Country

This is an expression from some long ago TV nature show as snow is beginning to fall in the mountains and everyone heads for lower ground and it has always popped into my mind when things go from hectic to calm. This morning Bev, her sister, Alex and her little friend headed off for a week at a Florida beach and I’m left with the mother-in-law, four dogs and a cat to look after, so cooking blog postable meals will be a challenge – maybe the pets will do lots of cute things for me to document.

Before she left, Bev harvested the remainder of the basil crop and turned it into pesto to stick in the freezer for later use – eg: pasta, stuffing a smoked pork loin, etc. We freeze it in ice cube trays, then put the cubes in a zip lock vacuum bag for use as we need them. We got about a quart of pesto using the following recipe from Food Network, which we really like. We had 7 times the recipe.

· 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
· 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
· 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
· 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
· Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and salt and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season with pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap placed right on the surface of the pesto to prevent discoloration, for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

This is the leaf pile we used after we had tossed about 1/3 of them. The cruet is just to show size.

I’m toasting the pine nuts while Bev gets everything else ready. Nuts are one thing I can do that little skillet flip to toss things like the TV cooks – the nuts all actually stayed in the pan.

This is the finished product and I could eat it with a spoon - I, at least got to lick the spatula after putting it in the bowl and then the ice cube tray.

Batch one ready for the freezer - we only have one tray. For you young folks this is how ice was made before automatic ice makers - I'm not old enough to remember the ice man.


  1. Does any of these recipes go well with margaritas?
    In case they do,I know where they sell some good margarita mix.

  2. Pesto freezes? Doesn't the oil keep it from freezing? Huh, have to look that up.

  3. You rock. Alexis just bought me some ice cube trays to finish the basil off and I said that I was going to have to look up to any special considerations for freezing the basil. Now you saved me the effort!


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