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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brook and Pesto and Heresy

This is homage to Brook, our animating gracious spirit, who seems to appear at all the right times to add a jolt of style to the farm and the farm table.

Here she is at last Saturday's potluck with butternut squash latkes--maybe not exactly like your grandma used to make in Brooklyn, but truly excellent.

It was a fine day, in spite of the stormy morning. Around noon the sun appeared and we had a sparkling autumn day, with bright-edged clouds scudding overhead and a little breeze.

After lunch and the garden tour, we made pesto, while Sean and a few volunteers re-roofed the greenhouse for the winter.

I'm not so hot with names, but I know Kathleen, the ricotta lady, came, along with neighbors Kathleen and Jim, and several other households. I know Scott, an ex-surfer from Santa Cruz, and Will, Long Hungry Creek Farm's resident leprechaun look-alike, were here, helping strip basil off the stems, and working on the greenhouse repairs.

Some of Julia's pesto didn't quite get the parmesan included (anyone who knows Julia will laugh affectionately at this point!) but is pretty good nonetheless.

My recipe, adapted from the Silver Palate cookbook:

2 cups washed, dried, packed basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts (get the big packages from Costco, although I must confess they are imports from China)--or walnuts
5-6 cloves garlic

Process above in food processor.

Add 1 cup olive oil slowly
Large pinch of salt
1 cup plus a little mixed parmesan and romano cheese


Pack in jars, using table knife to eliminate air pockets (pesto will turn dark exposed to air, though will still taste good), and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.

This will keep for months in your fridge!

How to eat?

We like it on fettucine. Mix pesto with a little pasta water to warm it up, and use some cream to thin it and help it spread around the pasta. I like a little yogurt, too, but Tom thinks this is pesto heresy. (But the only punishment heretics get around here is a little verbal needling, so heresy abounds.)

Or put it on grilled salmon. Or chicken sandwiches.

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