A hard freeze is forecast for tonight so I’ve been washing off my outdoor potted plants and rolling them indoors in my decrepit little red wagon. I’ll worry later about finding them sunshine in the walkout basement.
I just cut the last of the basil to make pesto. Basil is the first to die when the temperature hits freezing, so I couldn’t dawdle any longer. Making pesto is a pain in the posterior, but I’ll be sorry if a freeze kills my basil. The bees love the basil flowers, so I hope they can find hardier flowers tomorrow. Eventually, they’ll tuck themselves in for the winter. Where, I wonder?
My pesto recipe is to throw all of washed leaves (picking off the leaves is tedious) into a cuisinart with some olive oil and pine nuts and then whirl until it’s finely chopped into a paste. Form into balls on a plate and freeze. (My fingernails turn green….) Remove the frozen balls from the plate (sometimes I have to hack them off) and put into a bag to store in your freezer. You can toss onto hot pasta or into a marinara sauce later when you want a taste of summer time. You can add garlic and Parmesan cheese, if you want. Salt to taste.
4 responses to “Pesto”
I adore basil, pesto – well, anything basil-y actually! And I’ve never thought about freezing it. So thank you Cathy for the very useful tip. Though it’ll have to wait for next year – my basil suffered a horrid blight a few weeks back.
So, do you get cold winters and hot summers in Kansas, Cathy? What is your climate classed as?
See more questions – it was just when you mentioned frosts…
Paula, I pasted the following from a page on Missouri climate, since I live one mile west of Missouri in the Kansas City area. Sorry about the basil blight. Some of my sweet basil leaves had brown spots, but the cinnamon basil looked great. I let my basil re-seed itself, and the cinnamon and other purple-flowered varieties seem to be the most prolific. I may have to help out the sweet basil next year if it wants to compete.
Missouri has a continental climate, but with considerable local and regional variation. The average annual temperature is 50°F (10°C) in the northwest, but about 60°F (16°C) in the southeast. Kansas City has a normal daily mean temperature of 54°F (12°C), ranging from 26°F (–3°C) in January to 79°F (26°C) in July; St. Louis has an annual mean of 56°F (13°C) with 29°F (–2°C) in January and 80°F (27°C) in July.
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Missouri was –40°F (–40°C), set at Warsaw on 13 February 1905; the hottest, 118°F (48°C), at Warsaw and Union on 14 July 1954. A 1980 heat wave caused 311 heat-related deaths in Missouri, the highest toll in the country; most were elderly residents of St. Louis and Kansas City. Fifty-one more heat-related deaths occurred in St. Louis during a 1983 heat wave.
The average annual precipitation for Kansas City (1971–2000) was 40 in (100 cm), with some rain or snow falling about 110 days a year. The heaviest precipitation is in the southeast, averaging 48 in (122 cm); the northwest usually receives 35 in (89 cm) yearly. Snowfall averages 20 in (51 cm) in the north, 10 in (25 cm) in the southeast. During the winter, northwest winds prevail; the air movement is largely from the south and southeast during the rest of the year. Springtime is the peak tornado season.
My mouth is watering just reading your post. During the summer in Seattle we made pesto and used it as a spread on deli roast beef sandwiches on chabbata bread. What a yummy picnic that was.
You have beautiful photographs on your blog. I wish I had a good camera; I love taking nature photos. I took the mountain photo that is on my blog.
My uncle worked on the iron work on President Lincoln’s Cottage; he is an artist (iron).