Summer Pesto

Some of my most poignant memories of summer come from the hours I would spend with dad in the family garden. During those evenings after dinner we would battle stubborn weeds, pesky mosquitoes, the quickly fading light and the sweat dripping down our backs as we pushed to finish, 'just a few more rows' Too stubborn to quit, we'd end up covered in mosquito bites, but happy and content with the finished results.

Those soft summer nights are some of the ones I miss the most now that I'm living in bustling St. Paul where I've learned to block out of the noise of traffic. I miss those evenings ... and the hard-earned produce that would come out of that garden.

Hence, as soon as I had a patio to call my own, and barely before the danger of frost was over, I had tiny little herbs and seeds tucked into pots outside my doors. And this past week I harvested the first fruits. The poor basil plants needed to be plucked in order to keep growing at a healthy rate, so the entire two handfuls of fresh basil leaves went into the making of pesto. It was simple, flavorful and so very easy ...

What you'll need:

fresh basil leaves
olive oil
garlic cloves
grated parmesan cheese
your choice of pinenuts, walnuts, etc.

Combine everything but the olive oil in a food processor and blend, slowly adding the olive oil until you reach the consistency you desire. I had only a small amount of basil to work with, so the results ended up in about a cup of pesto.

Salt and pepper to taste and then use as you see fit...

...though I must say that creamy pesto pasta and chilled white wine go incredibly well together ...

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