Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Garden update and pesto recipe

The girls and I went to Navarre Beach, Florida last week and met up with lots of my extended family. There were 18 people in 5 families from 4 different states--Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Daniel is teaching 2 summer session classes so he couldn't join us. When we got back on Friday I was amazed by the growth of the garden.

We are bringing in lots of squash and zucchini. What's funny about our summer squash plants is we planted 8 of them thinking there would be 4 yellow and 4 zucchini. Now that the plants are producing fruits we have realized that we actually have 6 yellow squash and 2 zucchini. Even funnier is that Daniel and I don't even really like yellow squash! I can eat a few but if you've ever grown squash before you know how much squash you get from one plant--tons! We like zucchini better since I can make zucchini bread with it.

We have brought in about 4 pounds of cucumbers and I am trying to wait for a few more so I can make pickles. Anna, what recipe did you use last year when you made them?

The bush beans are exploding with flowers and small beans and we should have our first harvest of those this weekend or sooner. Daniel also brings in a handful of potatoes every few days. He does most of the harvesting in the mornings on his way to work (before I get up).

The basil has really taken off. I made the first harvest last Saturday bringing in about 12 cups of washed and packed leaves. I made 3 cups/jars of pesto and sent the rest of the basil home with mom. I took the picture below this morning. I should be able to bring in plenty more over the next few weeks.
I am including my favorite pesto recipe. Most people, stores, and restaurants make it with cheese. I have found a great recipe in my Mediterranean Vegan Cookbook that is called poor man's pesto. I have modified it a little by adding nutritional yeast. This is the first year I have added that ingredient and I'm really happy with the rich and full flavor it has. I use walnuts instead of pine nuts since I always have walnuts and pine nuts are expensive. We put pesto on everything. It's great on pasta, toast, veggie sandwiches (especially with portobello), burgers, potatoes, pizza, etc. I make several batches at once and freeze what we can't use in a week.

3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2 to 4 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp cours sea salt or to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast or to taste (optional)

Combine everything in food processor except oil. Blend until ingredients are finely chopped. Add oil and blend until smooth and creamy.


William Kruidenier said...

Beautiful pics! I'd love for you to post a backyard picture from when you first moved in and a pic from the same spot of the backyard today. Amazing how ya'll's hard work has changed the landscape. Nice going.

William Kruidenier said...

P.S. Pick those yellow squash when they're 2-4" long and let the girls dip them in some kind of sweet dressing and eat 'em like candy.

Lesley said...

makes me think of Daniel at the beach last fall putting enormous globs of pesto in his mouth at a time...a true sign of a pesto rich individual!

Good luck having any for the winter with that guy around...

Seriously, the garden looks great and I smile to think of Daniel out there picking the bounty before work and you rising a bit later to reap the benefits.

Talk to you guys soon...

Anna Morrison said...

Thanks for the recipe, just jotted it down. I really needed that.

Garden is such an inspiration.

Let's talk tomorrow.