Tag Archives: basil

we’re up to our armpits in tomatoes – sun-dried tomato pesto

You’ll have to bear with me for a while. The posts lately have been heavy on the food side, not to mention heavy on tomatoes lately, but it is that time of year around here. Everything is ready at the same time in the garden. We can’t seem to give enough of it away and I feel like I shouldn’t let it go to waste, so there has been a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Ok, a lot is relative. There has been more time spent in the kitchen than usual with lots of summertime lounging around thrown in. I have brief periods of intense activity followed by something a lot less intense. Start slowly and taper off.

Maybe 40 or 50 tomato plants was too many. Some of those were volunteer plants, though. I didn’t think they would be so abundant. Our garden is starting to look a little like The Day of the Triffids. Some of those plants might soon grow legs and attempt to take over the planet.

Last night we wanted pizzas and I had been thinking of using the oven dried tomatoes in olive oil on them, but instead I decided to make a pesto and use it instead of the pizza sauce. It was great with cooked chicken, green pepper slices and ricotta cheese, definitely a keeper. I’ll be making more and freezing it for future pizzas. This is a bit of an un-recipe – these measurements are an approximation because I eyeballed the entire thing and kept going with the ingredients until it looked and tasted right. My pesto was thick because I wanted it for a pizza sauce, but it would be easily loosened up with some more olive oil. I used walnuts only because that is what I had on hand – you can use pine nuts, or toasted almonds or even roasted pumpkin seeds. If you want a vegan option, subsitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (or Pizza Sauce)

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of the oil the tomatoes were packed in (or olive oil, if they weren’t)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2  cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1  small bunch basil (or parsley)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small ripe tomato (optional)

Puree everything together in a food processor until smooth. I added in the tomato to give a bit more red colour to the pesto and I liked the consistancy it gave. You can leave it out, but the pesto will be a bit more green in colour.

This made enough for the pizza, with some leftover for pasta later in the week. Or maybe a pasta salad.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Live Renewed, GNOWFGLINS, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, A Pinch of Joy

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this and that and some oil packed dried tomatoes

This is my last week of holidays for the summer. After this, it’s suck it up and get your head back at work time. I’ll officially be out of holiday bank. Though I really liked having 5 weeks off this year. That means I’ve officially worked at the same place for much too long, when they give you 5 weeks.

We’ve had a little bit of rain almost every day for a week. Not all day, just enough to make my garden and the lawn grow some more. We’ve picked tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini again this week. The lettuce is ready and the beans are flowering, so we will be getting some of both soon. We have kohlrabi too, though I have never before cooked it. The melons are all doing well and should ripen soon, along with some squash. And the little bit of rain has made the late potatoes that we planted take off and start growing like crazy.

So far this week the girls and I have visited with friends, we’ve prepared peaches for the freezer, made marinara sauce for the freezer and made some more oven-dried tomatoes. This time I took the suggestion of Diane at Westlake Musings (who resides in a neighbouring county) and packed them in olive oil. I made two jars, one just straight dried tomatoes in oil – they’ll be great on pizzas and the flavoured oil should make some great salad dressings. In the second jar I packed in some basil leaves and hot pepper flakes. That jar will be used for pastas. I have plans to use some of it tonight with a either cream cheese or ricotta mixed in and some cooked chicken. I’m not sure how shelf stable the oil packed tomatoes are, so I will use them up quickly and the keep the rest in the fridge. The olive oil will get a little cloudy and thick in the fridge, but all you have to do is allow it to come to room temperature again before use and it will be back to normal.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Foy Update – Eat, Make, Grow, Simple Lives Thursday, Gastronomical Sovereignty

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cucumber, tomato and basil salad

The full day of rain that we had the other day paid off a little in the vegetable garden. We’ve been eating cucumbers, grape tomatoes and field tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and onions. And the peaches are out at the farmer’s markets. I bought a basket on Sunday, and we tried them grilled with ice cream when the in-laws came over for dinner on Sunday night.

This is the salad that we had with our dinner that night (and again tonight). I don’t measure anything, so I guessed on the measurements, but this is pretty basic. It’s nice and crisp, sweet and tart at the same time and full of lots of flavour, if you are using fresh from the garden vegetables and basil:

 Cucumber, Tomato and Basil Salad

  • 2 or 3 cucumbers, seeds removed, sliced
  • a couple of handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 clove garlic chopped very fine
  • handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve immediately, or slightly chilled.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Eat, Make, Grow, I Did It Tuesday, A Pinch of Joy, This Chick Cooks,

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