Sunday, May 2, 2010

“Pesto” Marathon


I somehow stumbled onto the book Very Pesto on Amazon and noticed in the editorial and customer reviews that it included recipes for “pesto” using many herbs other than basil. As I’m a bit behind on my basil crop and most of the other herbs in my EarthBoxes are growing so exuberantly, I thought trying these recipes would be a great excuse to prune back the over-achievers.


EarthBox Herb Garden-20100425_01

Sage and parsley. Too bad my parsley wasn’t a bit larger. It is used as a filler with some of the stronger herbs so they don’t overpower the pesto and I didn’t have enough to make the tarragon or thyme pesto.


EarthBox Herb Garden-20100425_02

Oregano and cilantro.


EarthBox Herb Garden-20100425_03

Tarragon and basil. I was able to cut enough basil before taking this photo to make one batch of classic basil pesto.


EarthBox Herb Garden-20100425_04

Chervil and thyme.



Washed basil, sage and others drying.



Two portions of parsley for the sage and oregano recipes, cilantro and oregano. The Oxo salad spinner was a great help washing all the herbs.



Garlic for the various recipes, lime zest for the cilantro pesto, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano for the classic basil pesto. I toasted the pine nuts in the microwave; I’m much less likely to burn them than when I try to do it in the oven.




I grated the P-R in the food processor and portioned it out by weight (about 1 0z. for each 1/3 cup) called for in the recipe. Since I only needed 2 tbsp. of Romano for the basil pesto, I used a microplane to grate it.




I didn’t plan ahead well enough to make my own bread so I bought a baguette at Whole Foods to make crostini. My husband stole one end and ate it with spreadable butter while I was making a red pepper tapenade to serve with the pesto.



I feel rich! All that lovely pesto. And all those abundant herbs are put to great use.



My husband and I had a smorgasbord of pestos, the red pepper tapenade, salami, goat cheese, gruyere and emmental cheese for dinner.