13 July 2009

fresh basil pesto recipe

Jonathan has been gone now for a week. I hate when he is away.

The kids are doing alright. We made paper chains and every night before bed we tear another link off of the chain. When all of the links are gone, Daddy will be coming home! This helps them a lot, I think. To understand how long he will be gone. Because last time he was away they asked me every morning, "Are we picking Daddy up today?"

It does not, however, help me because those chains don't appear to be getting any shorter.


We went to swim lessons this morning. Then to my favorite thrift store to look at the books. And I spent my weekly $10.00 and this is what I have to show for it:

I finished The Year of Magical Thinking last night when I should have been studying (booooo) but I had to finish it because someone commented to me on facebook how the book was just so sad especially "considering what happened after it was written" and I was like, "Wait ... what? What happened after it was written?" and the temptation to look up Joan Didion on wikipedia was so strong. Because I do live under a rock and had no idea if the woman was alive or dead! Did she die of a broken heart, as so many widows do? Which is a point she talks about while describing grief, so how eerie would that be? Did her daughter die? What was it???????? I was insane with curiosity. So I stayed up too late and did not study a single page of my biology book and didn't get enough sleep and was very grouchy on the way to swimming.

But the book was worth it. And, yes, I did race over to the laptop and look up Joan Didion after finishing it at 2 am and, yes, it is just so sad considering what happened after the book was written.

Again, sigh.

So today after returning home with my new books, I dutifully set them aside (after snapping a photo of them) and opened up the biology book. The kids went upstairs to rest during the hottest part of the day, but then, mercifully, we got a gorgeous thunderstorm which cooled the house down considerably.

I ran outside before the rain began and cut a bunch of our basil and made some pesto. Jonathan and I planted a lot of basil because we love caprese salad, but the basil has sort of taken over its end of the garden! I have never made pesto before but I wanted to use up some of that lovely basil. So I ran out there during the thunder and lightening with my metal scissors that felt suddenly ridiculously oversized and metallic and snipped off as much basil as I could before I began to feel like I was really risking my life unnecessarily. It was only basil, after all. But it was enough for a single batch of this pesto, recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes:

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

I poured it into a jar and stuck it in the freezer, so that we can enjoy it when Jonathan comes home. But I tasted a teeny bit and it is amazing. The flavors are so much stronger than store-bought pesto. And my fingers still smell like basil, which thrills me. I can't stop smelling them. So now my keyboard probably smells like basil, too.


evey said...

came upon your blog by pressing the addictive "next blog" button. enjoyed your pesto story so much i think i am going to have that for dinner tonight. thanks. happy blogging.

girlysmack said...

Wow! Thanks! Hope you like it.

Retainer Girl said...

"The Year of Magical Thinking" was awesome and, yes, sad considering.

"Into Thin Air" by Krakauer is amazing, and you should read all of his other books too because they are just as good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pesto recipe! A very yummy way to use up my excess basil!