Today, being cool and cloudy (eat yer hearts out East Coast!), I woke up with the urge to play in the kitchen. We were supposed to be having a gas heater installed downstairs so that this coming winter (and all future winters) I won’t have to bundle up like a mummy to go to work. So, before all that hubbub got started, I made a loaf of Grumpy’s banana bread:
I love this recipe because it has rolled oats in it, plus I modify it every time I make it, but it always turns out yummy. GS1 has been known to call me at night to beg me to make him a loaf!
After that it was time to make my favorite summer thing–pesto!! This year, our basil has done amazingly well, so first I went out and picked a big bunch:
The aroma immediately filled up the kitchen–complete heaven! Then I assembled the rest of my ingredients. This particular recipe is from one of my old staples, The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’ve had it for probably 20 years, it’s old, battered, beat up, grease-stained, written in and dog-eared, exactly the way a good cookbook should be. I love this recipe because it has walnuts instead of pine nuts. I know that pine nuts are all “woo-woo” and fancy, but I must have some kind of reaction to them because no matter how I have them–cooked, raw, toasted, whatever–they leave a metallic taste in my mouth, which is not so pleasant. Walnuts are much better.
The olive oil is from the grove where my own little tree resides. A few weeks ago, the regular olive oil arrived. The other colorful cans in the background are infused oils (lemon, chile and mandarin) that I use nearly every day for some wonderful thing or other.
After getting everything together, I got out my little food processor and started piling in the ingredients:
Doesn’t that olive oil practically beg you to dive in? Seriously, you can smell the olives as soon as it comes out of the spout.
Then the fun part begins. Chop all the “dry” ingredients–basil, garlic and walnuts:
Then, add the oil to get what looks almost like a brilliant green soup:
One day, I will get very industrious and make pesto the original way–in a mortar and pestle (hence “pesto”), but not this summer, I think. After that, add several grinds of black pepper and coarse salt, then add the Parmesan and Romano cheeses:
And the final product:
After it was all done, I scraped it into a freezer-safe container and covered with plastic wrap. This will keep in the fridge for months–really, if it lasts that long. It will get darker with time, but I’ve never had any go bad on me. I made a second batch with did go in the freezer, and you can also freeze it in ice cube trays then pop out and keep in the freezer in zipper bags to use in marinara sauce, deviled eggs, pasta salads, what have you. Everything’s better with pesto!
Just a bite of summer in a bowl!
Oh, and while I got all this done, the heater went in without a hitch. Looking forward to a warm winter!