Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Plenty of Pesto

One of the things I love about living in the Okanagan valley is the absolute abundance of produce growing here, another thing I love about living here is the community of people we have in our lives.  Last week a dear friend asked me if I wanted to join her to make pesto since they had been given the opportunity to pick loads of basil for free.  Well, of course I couldn't resist.  We rode our bikes to the Farmers Market to get some garlic and other goodies and then back to her place for a few hours of making pesto.  Once there she showed me how much basil they had picked - there were two large Rubbermaid bins, a shopping bin and two large fridge crispers full.  Yikes!  I'd never seen so much basil in my life.
(our dueling food processors!)

We washed, stemmed, processed, ran short on ingredients (several times) and made our way through the crispers full as well as most of the two big bins.  It took us many more hours than we had thought but the time whizzed by because we were enjoying ourselves so much.  I love doing this kind of project with friends and having time to talk and catch up while getting something done.
I ended up going home with 4 quart jars, 1 plastic container and 1 good size bowl filled with pesto.  Jacqueline managed to fill a freezer with yogurt containers of pesto.  Once I got home I also put my pesto into plastic containers to freeze and then popped them out of the containers into a plastic freezer bag.  Needless to say we've been enjoying pesto everything since then - pesto pizza,  pesto potatoes, pesto pasta, pesto on bread, pesto on green beans...
The freezer has been in constant use as it is also blueberry, cherry and apricot season here and I'm getting it stocked with our year supply of smoothie ingredients.  Apricots are very easy to come by here and I've seen several trees going unpicked around town.  I was pleased to be offered some apricots from the tree where my garden is.
Apricots have never been my favourite fruit (the ones on our old tree were just OK in flavour) but this variety has incredible flavour and colour.  I hope to find out what kind it is so I can plant the same kind when we get our property.  They're delicious fresh and make a great addition to berry smoothies.

10 comments:

Regina said...

hi
it seems you have a wonderful day with your friend.mmmh pesto...is one of my favorites.oh the apricots looks
good.yesterday have i make apricot-jam.my family and i we love jam .
have a wonderful day,
regina

cargillwitch said...

everything at this time of year is sooo lucious, juicy and good! I love apricots , cherries and plums fresh from the tree.Perfection.
Your photos made me hungry!

SG said...

Wow that is A LOT of basil!!! You must've needed a lot of garlic, parmesan and oil for that lot. Pesto is so tasty especially homemade when you can adjust the quantities to suit.

Lise said...

Lucky you; apricots are crazy expensive here. Maybe you could plant your own? I have peach trees galore coming up in my gardens from my composted pits...

Erin said...

We found apricots yesterday and peaches that were awesome, at the garden center a short drive away (where i also, cough, cough, "found" 7 echinacea plants, 1 coreopsis plant, and 1 daylily plant at 70% off...I had to give them homes, right??), and I'd love to find trees laden like that! It must be amazing to find the abundance and make use of it. Our basil is humming along, and even with 15 plants or so, we will doubtfully have that much to harvest. It's just been so cool, even in the hoophouse. But the market will have lots even though I shall have to pay for it! Does your recipe call for pinenuts? I love those but, ooo, are they spendy!

Elizabeth said...

I planted a lot of basil this year because the family decided they really REALLY like pesto, whereas before they emphatically did not! Too funny. I have nothing like that abundance, though, wow.
You are very lucky to have a friend to share the bounty with you.

daisy said...

What a blessing to have a stockpile of pesto! Ummmmmmm...

The Armchair Housewife said...

what a lovely summertime post! I loved seeing all those lovely jars of pesto- yum! And the only thing better than local food is FREE local food, so awesome!

moment to moment said...

mmmmmmmmm
Wow, it has been a while since I visited here or any other blog for that matter. So much yummyness and inspirations for the kitchen.
We LOVE pesto here, I have never frozen it, I wonder if is just as delicious once frozen?

Heather said...

Hi Erin, I didn't use pine nuts (yes, too pricey for me)I've always used walnuts instead because we had two big trees at our old place. Actually I was stunned when I saw how much walnuts cost to buy in the store - it has been many, many years since I've had to buy them and we only just finished using up all the ones from our old trees. I'm on the lookout in our area to find a neighbour who doesn't want the walnuts off their tree and will let me collect them, we only have a small walnut tree at this place. I hope your 15 basil plants perk up and get growing with all this heat we are finally getting.

Moment to moment - we find it really good frozen, still much tastier than anything we could buy in a store.