Sunday, October 04, 2015

How I Make Basil Pesto + The Sheep on The Hill

This morning on the radio, they mentioned a slight chance of frost and I went into a panic - a basil panic. Whenever there is a chance of frost, I harvest my basil. It is so tender, it seems to turn brown and mushy before a real killing frost like the other plants I grow. 

This afternoon Julia and I made a several batches of basil pesto. It is annual rite of fall here at the farm. I grow a long row of basil and each fall, just before frost, go into mass production. I put it in small deli containers and freeze it to use through the winter. I grow the traditional Genovese basil with the large leaf. I have tried the mini leaf basil but it is too tedious for me to pick all the little leaves off the stems. 

Leyden Glen Farm Basil Pesto Recipe

1/4 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups basil
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese - grated

I wouldn't make pesto without a food processor. It would take too long and I don't have the patience to grind things with a mortar and pestle. 

In your food processor, place walnuts, garlic, and salt and process until finely chopped. Add the basil leaves to the bowl and process for a few seconds. Slowly pour in the olive oil and wait until the leaves are all chopped. You can tell this is done because the basil becomes a mass of whirring slurry. Add the parmesan and process just for a second. 

Using a rubber spatula, scoop the pesto into small plastic deli containers. For each batch, I usually split it in half and make 2 containers from a batch. Write "Pesto - 2015" on top of each container. Freeze immediately.

Use it on sandwiches and pizza. Add it to soups and pasta all winter long.  

Earlier in the day, I helped Mark round up the sheep into the large sheep handling unit. Kate and Ness helped mostly. Kate is beginning to really work the sheep - perfect timing as Nessie has really slowed down. Kate has a long way to go but at least we are seeing progress. Best thing is she is always super excited to jump in the truck with Mark and go off to do some kind of farm chore. She is so excited that she actually trembles with excitement. 

Here are some photos of the sheep. The sheep are moving to other pastures as where they are now is pretty much out of feed. The leaves are beginning to turn and it is going to be a splendid week here for color and nice autumn weather. 


Auntie Shan said...

I look at these gals, and all I can think of is, "YARN SALE"!! And, WHERE am I going to PUT it all!? :-}

I like basil...


meigancam01 said...

very good article.

Denise said...

I'm going to try this recipe! Good idea to use walnuts instead of traditional, and very expensive, pine nuts.

Cache-Mire said...

Love the views of the sheep!

Sojourner Design said...

Hey Kristin,

I plan to make a batch of the pesto today. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Just wondering... you mentioned that you use it all winter long. How do you store it? Does it really keep well for months?

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Diane! Freeze it. I use small deli containers but you could used freezer bags or glass jars.

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