First Taste of Summer


For me, summer has not really begun until I've had my first batch of pesto made from basil grown in my garden. That's what we had for dinner tonight. I was also able to pick a couple of cucumbers to put on the salad.

mark, Jun 15 2005 9:46AM

looks a little like guacamole. you sure there aren't any avacados in there?

do you have a recipe for your special sauce / condiment?

also, that's a mighty nice photo.

Ann, Jun 15 2005 12:44PM

I'm sure there are no avocados in there. This pesto is a little chunky because I didn't have enough basil to really pack the blender. So it didn't get as smooth as I usually like it. But it was still tasty! My recipe, as best as I can describe, is as follows:

Pack the blender with basil leaves. (I don't have an exact measurement, but a full plastic grocery bag of picked stems is the amount I usually use.) Then put in about 2 teaspoons of salt. Then a handful of toasted pine nuts. Then 2 or 3 cloves of pressed garlic. Then pour in some extra-virgin olive oil...maybe1/4 cup or a little more? Blend until smooth. Stir in fresh parmesan cheese....maybe1/3 cup? Then spoon over pasta and toss.

It's always slightly different each time I make it. You pretty much can't go wrong unless you do something really stupid like dump the entire carton of salt in there.

paul, Jun 15 2005 3:42PM

great photo!

Ann, Jun 15 2005 3:53PM

Thanks! I thought it was a pretty cool view into the blender.

David, Jun 15 2005 6:02PM

Thanks for sharing your recipe and photo. Pesto and salsa are heavenly condiments. So many possibilities. Have you ever tried adding other ingredients to your recipe, such as poblano peppers or cilantro? I recommend the peppers, but your son might not like them! Spicy hot! Must be nice to have a garden.

Ann, Jun 15 2005 9:10PM

I've used a recipe for cilantro pesto before. It was pretty good on burritos. But I've never had any luck growing cilantro for some reason. It is nice to have a garden. I feel really lucky to have mine. Although you can grow lots of stuff in big pots if you don't have a garden space.

Sandie, Jun 16 2005 9:11AM

I've tried to grow basil in a pot many times. In fact this year I planted some seeds but my little seedlings have died. Any tips? I think the basil isn't getting enough light on my windowsill, but since I don't know much about the plant.

Ann, Jun 16 2005 11:57AM

I'm pretty sure they like full sun. (I'm definitely not an expert gardener, though!)

spaceneedl, Jun 22 2005 12:02AM

that pesto looks a nontraditional kind of way. basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil...that's a combination that will be good anywhere, any time, no matter what. go, girl.

Heather, Jun 23 2005 1:07PM

Yes... fabulous photo. Makes us city kids yearn for gardens of our own... thanks for sharing.