So much for summer heat—most of the country has been on the cool side since Saturday, the first day of summer, or socked-in with storms. What’s a gardener to do on a rainy day? Cook from the garden!
Pesto, a savory sauce made from basil, showcases homegrown herbs in the most delightful way. What connects this recipe to God’s Word? Every other ingredient besides the basil: garlic (Numbers 11:5), olive oil (Leviticus 2:7) and pistachios, Israel’s best!
Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. Genesis 43:11
Last year I took up my basil bush on the evening of our first freeze, and by then the leaves were in decline, yielding only a few small servings. The savory sauce is too delicious to run out of in the winter months! This year I hope for the patient endurance to fill my freezer with pesto, promoting the production of my basil throughout the summer by making weekly batches.
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Revelation 13:10
Patient Endurance Pesto
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, rinsed
3 medium garlic cloves
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, unshelled
5 – 6 Tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
Put basil leaves, garlic and pistachios in the Cuisinart bowl and process until finely and evenly chopped (if you don’t have a Cuisinart, pound pistachios with kitchen mallet, finely dice basil, press garlic cloves, and mix and mash together in a small bowl to form a paste-like consistency)
Heat 4 – 5 T. of olive oil in skillet on medium high
Add basil mixture and stir constantly as it sautés, 5 to 8 minutes. Add salt to taste and more olive oil as needed to keep mixture moist and good consistency.
Serving suggestions: Toss pesto with pasta noodles, grilled meats, cooked shrimp, steamed vegetables, cooked rice or grains. Add to tomato sauce for a depth of flavor.
Storing suggestions: Let pesto cool and pour into ice cube tray. Freeze pesto “ice cubes” and move later to a freezer storage bag. Throughout the winter you can reheat several cubes at a time to add to a variety of foods listed above. Alternately, you can freeze the basil mixture without sautéing, adding olive oil and salt when preparing meals at a later time.
Photo Caption: ©2014 Shelley S. Cramm Patient Endurance Pesto is made with pistachios and garden fresh basil.