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27 October 2010


I got the last of the basil harvested just in time, the temperatures dropped this past weekend and there's about two inches of snow on the ground right now. Feels like Christmas, not the week of Halloween.  These leaves look a little hammered, but they'll taste just fine.

I made 3 batches of pesto until I ran out of olive oil. I freeze them in ice cube trays or small plastic storage containers (like the one in the picture)- to use throughout the winter months.
With the last pile of basil leaves ready to go, I  realized I was out of olive oil. Not in the mood to run to the store or borrow anything else from our new neighbors (until they borrow something back from us, we are up 2 eggs) I searched the cupboards for possible substitutes and found a bottle of walnut oil. I did a little research and found this recipe:

Walnut Oil Pesto:
3 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients in the blender or food processor.

Here is the pesto recipe I usually use:
Pesto Sauce:
1 c. fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
coarse or rock salt, just a sprinkle
2 tbsp pine nuts (giant bags available at costo)
1/2 c. olive oil
4 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pecorino cheese or more parmesan
Place basil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. add olive oil with motor running, the add cheese. blend one more time until ingredients are mixed well.

Basically the same, excepting the pine nuts when you use walnut oil instead of olive oil, this might be a good pesto option these days as the price of pine nuts soars so high even Costco has stopped carrying them.
Just a note in case you're entertaining or trying to impress your diners- the walnut oil pesto browned noticeably quicker than the traditional recipe. Otherwise, the taste is basically the same.

This bowl full of lunch may not look very delicious- but it is. It's is my favorite way to eat pesto these days- with spaghetti squash instead of pasta, then mix in whatever else you have handy- some protein (salmon, tuna, ham, soy beans...) and more vegetables (tomatoes, green beans, peas...). Delicious.
I've finally arrived at the year when all of the kids are in school all day... a mom milestone... this means I can catch up on the Sunday New York Times (that takes me all week to get through) over lunch.


starr said...

ok, I am not RIGHT next door--in fact, The Store is closer, but I have a huge bottle of oil you are welcome to any time. Ok, you are welcome to about anything we've got around. And in a town like Midway, aren't we all neighbors? That pesto looks delish.

Lisa said...

Don't worry, I'll come borrow back my eggs or something else soon!


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