Pesto

It’s been quite a week, both very busy work-wise and also a few days with no electricity – thus cooking reverted to survival mode. Thus, after we picked-up our farm share on Wednesday (peas, kale, spring onions, garlic scapes, turnips, spinach, zucchini, dill) our meals were simple. Luckily our stovetop is gas, so with a candle and a match I used up the bit of meat in our freezer and the most sensitive veggies.

The weekend came around – and the power was back on – but we were about to set off for an 8 day road trip, so I had some veggies and herbs to use or lose. Now that I could use the food processor again, I decided to whip up some quick pestos that I could freeze. There’s nothing like having a fresh whiff of garden-fresh herbs in the kitchen when it’s freezing outside.

First I stripped the dill off the tender stalks (this dill was huge and fragrant!), gave it a very rough chop and tossed it in the bowl of the processor – maybe about a cup and a half of dill. Next I chopped three garlic scapes into a few pieces and threw them in. (Side note: if you’ve never cooked with, or even seen a garlic scape, they are a sight to behold. Curled like a pig’s tail, but much longer and bright green, they are the fresh stalks from the end of a garlic clove with a small unbloomed flower bud at the end. They look a bit like curvy green onions, but taste very garlicky and fresh, so chop and use in place of a similar amount of a bulb of garlic. Or you could always use regular garlic or green garlic in place of garlic scapes.) I turned on the processor and streamed in 2 ½ tablespoons or so of good olive oil, just like I would for basil pesto. A bit of salt, pepper and the juice from half a lemon and I had a great, fresh dill pesto – perfect for tossing with roasted veggies or pasta, or you could add more oil and a bit of vinegar (or more lemon) for a salad dressing.

 Next I took the stems off two cups of spinach and rough chopped two garlic scapes. They went into the processor with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and the other half of the lemon. This pesto ends up a bit runnier – good for flavoring dip or adding to pasta with just a bit of pasta water to make a sauce. Adding a bit of grated parm when defrosted would make this even better. I have also added pesto of all kinds to scrambled eggs and frittatas. This too had a great, pungent smell of the scapes mixed with the earthiness of the spinach. I felt a bit of sadness when I spooned them into clean jars and put them into the freezer, although I know I won’t regret it a bit when I defrost them in the dead of winter and remember this lovely early summer evening.

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