October 1, 2017

Watertown, MA. October, 2010

There’s an old New England joke: “Don’t like the weather here? Wait five minutes.” Turns out it’s no joke. In the past two weeks the temperatures have been 90 one day, 40 the next. Time to finally harvest my basil before a frost. Time to make pesto. Above, most of my garden’s yield (I kept some plants going for a last-minute tomato sauce or some other culinary emergency.) With almost ten cups of packed leaves, I wound up with plenty of pesto to last me (and some deserving friends) for a good long while. The recipe I follow, which I call “Two of Everything,” came to me from my late friend Dali. Where she got it, I’m not sure, but I suspect it was from her friends the Romagnolis (who had an Italian cooking series at the TV station where we all worked at one time.) Two: two cups of packed basil leaves, two Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, two peeled cloves of garlic, two Tablespoons of pine nuts. Throw them all in the food processor, turn it on and add extra-virgin olive oil until it combines and looks like pesto (3/4-1 cup usually.) Presto! And while I make a face when I read about pesto being made with additions of parsley or cilantro, I do regularly substitute walnuts and grated Romano. Put in a small container and covered with a thin layer or oil, this freezes nicely. And it’s great to have the taste of summer in the middle of January. Especially with that nasty New England weather.

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