It’s the season of garden abundance, and trying to stay on top of everything that seems to be ready for harvest at the same time is a tricky task. An embarrassment of riches, I know.
We’ve had to let the occasional head of lettuce go to the birds… our chicken ladies who LOVE their green treats. And I’ve been roasting and peeling beets like a mad woman, throwing them in a jar and into the fridge for use on the aforementioned lettuce. But one of my favorite – and more convenient – tricks I’ve come across for prolonging the life of a seasonal veggie is a little something I learned from our friend Sarah Brown, a farm and cooking goddess.
While hanging around her kitchen one day, probably watching in awe as she whipped up an amazing meal, I noticed that the ice cubes in her ice tray were dark green. Noticing my concern, she quickly explained that that was how she froze her pesto. Perfect cube-sized pesto portions. Genius. So whenever I have a lot of basil on hand, I fill up the ice tray like so…
Step one: harvest said basil (terrible photo, I know).
Pick all the basil leaves off of the stems and gather other ingredients. Some smart people would use a recipe, but I almost certainly never have everything that traditional pesto calls for, so I usually just make it up as I go. In this case, I was lacking pine nuts (or any nuts for that matter), so I substituted flax seeds. They add a bit of grainy flavor and texture, but note that the typical blender doesn’t chop up flax seeds. I actually had the parmesan cheese, and pesto isn’t pesto without lots of garlic.
Really good olive oil, flaky salt and strong pepper are also very important additions. I, however, don’t have really good (expensive) olive oil, so please excuse the Napoleon.
All ingredients get shoved into this adorable little Cuisinart, one of the best gifts I’ve ever received (thanks, Simran!). As previously mentioned, some people would follow measurements. I prefer the guessing game/taste as you go method.
When it has reached the perfect blend, into the ice tray it all goes, where it will wait patiently for our next pasta meal. Although you may not guess it from all my unnecessary babbling, this full process took me 7 minutes. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!