The weather is fine and warm right now. Highs at 25C which is 77F. Nice! Now that it is October it’s time to think about harvesting the garden. Another last in our casa in the sky. Our last garden. It was a good one this year.

Basil, mint and tarragon
Sweet peppers
Piccante peppers.

The basil was very prolific this year. Carefully harvesting throughout the year before it can bloom keeps it growing. But alas, the time has come to use it all before it frosts.

That can only mean…it’s pesto time! It isn’t difficult. You probably know that Pesto Genovese originated in Genoa. To make it in the traditional way, you use a mortar and a pestle with which you grind all the ingredients into a paste. I use a food processor as most people do. Someday I may try to make it the traditional way. Here are pictures of the ingredients I used.

I fill the bowl with basil leaves packing them in.
A few cloves of garlic
Parmigiano, Grana Padano or aged pecorino cheese and olive oil.
Ground nuts. I use all different kinds, not always the traditional pine nuts. These are hazelnuts.

I also add a little water if I want the pesto thinner without using too much oli. I prefer it not too oily. The final product. I divided it and froze part of it for the wintertime for a taste of the summer during the bleak months.

And finally, some of the flowers are still pretty.

10 thoughts on “Pesto!

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Karen. They do love sun, but in the really frying heat we had this summer I cranked the Tende out to shade them for the hottest hours. I water every morning. But the trick is — don’t just pinch the flower off! You must go down that whole stem to the lowest set of small leaves, then take that whole stem off. If you just pinch the flowers it won’t work. When I do this, I make pesto. I probably get 4 harvests in a summer. I also feed them once a month.

  2. Karen Pace

    Looks delicious, Nancy! =) I remember being jealous of how healthy your basil plants were. I can never get them to grow very big leaves. They dry up too much here in my pots in the driveway in Toronto. Next year, I’m going to try them in a more shaded spot, and will water them more often. I know that you have to pop the flowers off before they bloom, though, like you said! Your pesto looks great!

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Leah, I am very glad you enjoyed the pesto I left. We love it on chicken and pasta and I put a big ole dollop in my winter minestrone. Really adds a layer of flavor. I can’t thank you enough for caring for my boyz 💕

  4. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Margaret, I think pistacchio nuts are my favorite. Grana Padana is much like Parmigiana except it is made with part skimmed milk. It is from the Po valley and a protected agriculture. I like it a lot.

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Deborah, you’re too kind. Thank you. I don’t have much room to grow things. I do love growing herbs. And using them! So nice in summer to go outside and harvest as I need it to cook. The Rosemary lasts all winter as does thyme.

  6. Margaret Rosen McGarrell

    I agree; it is definitely pesto-creating weather! I’m not sure how I’m not recalling Grana Padana (?) but it surely looks worth investigating. I’ve had fun using various different nuts, hazelnut being my favorite

  7. Deborah

    Thank you so much for sharing
    your beautiful bounty. Love love the herbs. Reminds me of my Sicilian Nonno! You’re inspiring.

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