Posts Tagged ‘recipe’
So we have happened upon another discovery birthed from a complete accident. Let me explain …
I had always been under the assumption that you harvested basil at the end of the gardening season, mostly in a panic, right as the first frost was banging on your front door. At least, this is how my family always did it. A few years ago I did just this and was sadly disappointed as my giant basil leaves produced some of the most bitter pesto I had ever eaten. Not to waste a thing, I ate every last bitter bite … for the next 4 months.
Then, finally, this year I caught onto the fact that perhaps I didn’t have to wait until the last basil pickin’ minute and just make pesto here and again. So I did. But not enough.
Now, with predicted temperatures in the 30’s this weekend, my Basil Panic Alarm started to ring and we harvested a few bunches tonight. Picking through we again realized that we were faced with massive plants filled with bitter leaves. All of those beautifully fragrant flowers that the honeybees so love? The signpost to astringent tasting basil. But wait! I have an idea …
This year we have eaten more swiss chard than our children have liked. If you were to eat The Chard straight from the garden, the bitterness might make your eyes cross. But blanch it, saute it with some garlic, olive oil, and sea salt and it will make your eyes roll to the back of your head … a much more culinary agreeable experience. So what if we blanch the bitter basil?
BINGO! An entire crop saved! Here’s how:
Dip the leaves into boiling water … 30 seconds tops
Plunge into an ice bath
Whip about in the salad spinner to remove the excess water
Throw into the food processor with olive oil, garlic, pinch of sea salt, REALLY good pecorino cheese (grated) and toasted pine nuts.
Then, just sit and wait for your eyes to roll back to the front of your head.