Late season pesto

30 08 2010

I am finally getting around to making up some pesto to use and freeze–last year by now I was already on a roll. Since our tomato crop has been out of control, I decided to “sun dry” a bunch in the oven and then add it to my traditional pesto recipe. It really boosts the flavor and also does wonders for the volume.

For the tomatoes, I either slice up a regular sized tomato or use a bunch of cherry tomatoes and poke holes in them first so they don’t explode in the oven. Generously coat with olive oil, sprinkle some kosher salt on top, and roast for a whole day (maybe 6-8 hours) at around 200 degrees. I let them cool and then store them in a zip lock bag after adding more olive oil to keep them moist.

I improvise a lot with the pesto. This year I seem to be using the following ingredients and amounts:

2 cups basil
1/2 cup Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic

(Romano cheese and walnuts are cheaper than Parmesan and pine nuts.)

The dry ingredients go into the processor first and then I add the tomatoes and olive oil. Keep pulsing until it’s at a consistency that you like. You could adjust any of these amounts based on your taste, as well.

The final product:


Pesto Passion

1 07 2009

My passion for pesto has grown in the past few years.  This post will be updated whenever I discover a new recipe out there, usually developed by a frustrated CSA member who needs unique ways to use their produce before it goes bad!

A Bushel of What? Garlic scape pesto two ways

The Baltimore DIY Squad Sea of Greens

Greens Greens Everywhere

Detroit Restaurant Examiner Making Pesto

Anything Else is Just Basil Sauce Endless Simmer

Passing the Pesto Test? Endless Simmer

From Ketchup to Chutney Pesto, Two Ways

More to come!

Grilling with Easy Food and Fun Guests

16 06 2009

Don’t you hate reading about parties like this?  Well throw your inadequacies on the flames as I take you through a tour of the most recent backyard bash we threw at our humble abode. There was onion dip. There were chips. There was home brewed beer and homemade mojitos. We also had some fun-loving guests and s’mores. Take that, Food & Wine!

Our impressive table of pre-dinner snacks and drinks (clockwise from bottom): vinho verde, home brewed hoppy beer, hummus, chips, onion dip circa 1950, and home made pesto.

food table

You can find my pesto recipe here, although every time I make it it turns out a bit different.


The onion dip was a huge hit–and easy! Grab some packets of Lipton’s powered onion mix and mix with sour cream. Refrigerate until you want to eat it.  Serve with chips–ruffled are better.

chips n dip

We did have some Yards on hand, but in the glass is the home brew. So yummy and hoppy!



We did have a kid there! (There are always perfectly dressed, well-behaved photos of kids in the magazines.) But to protect his identity, here he is hiding behind a tree:


On the main menu: BBQ chicken, grilled corn, portobello mushrooms (recipes below):

chicken and corn



One of our guests enjoying the mushroom sans bun:


For dessert: s’mores, grilled angel food cake, and ricotta cheesecake.


Angel food cake: buy an angel food cake from the store. Then dredge in equal parts jam and fruit juice, also bought from the store. Grill.  I think I’ll kick it up a notch when I make it next time and add some Cool Whip or ice cream. Watch out!

angel food cake

ricotta cheesecake

Full and contented guests like taking photos, I guess.



BBQ chicken: Buy chicken and BBQ sauce, marinate in BBQ sauce overnight, grill

Corn: Buy corn, husk, and grill

Portobello mushrooms: buy mushrooms, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and grill


8 06 2009

I was inspired yesterday.  I’ve been eating crap lately and my body was craving freshness! 

Breakfast: Omelet made with two eggs, one whole scallion, two mushrooms, three slices of tomato, a touch of Parmesan cheese, and a sprig of dill.





Lunch: Pesto


two small hand fulls of herbs (I used basil, sage, and dill)

2 cloves of garlic

1/2-3/4 cup of parmesan cheese

squeeze of lime juice

1/4 cup of slivered almonds

olive oil (pour until you get a nice consistency–maybe 1/2 cup)

Dinner: pork chops with swiss chard, kale, mushrooms, and dill