Making Pesto in May
I was at the grocery store buying some last minute items for dinner. My favorite cashier told me to check with the greeter and see what he had in his box. So I did. He just beamed! He had a basketful of produce from his backyard garden. He had lots of tomatoes, peppers and squash. I grow all of those things too, but it was the look on his face that made me happy! It was obvious that he was very proud and excited to show off the results of his efforts. We talked for quite a while about the size of his garden and his watering techniques. I left feeling as if I had made a new friend.
Back to the pesto. I love pesto. I put it in sandwiches, on grilled breads, in salads and of course on pasta dishes. Basil grows so prolifically here! I plant lots. Some for me, some for friends and more for the bees. I pinch off the budding heads to encourage the little plant to bush out. I pick basil to dry and some for pesto.
I like the plain pesto with basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Substitutions are easily made with Romano cheese and walnuts.
Pesto can be frozen as long as you wait and add the cheese when you thaw it. I fill a plastic bowl with the pesto and pour a thin layer of olive oil to cover the surface. This will keep it from turning dark. Then I pop them out and put them in a gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze. When I thaw them, I add my grated cheese.