Garden Pesto

Happy Monday!  I mentioned in my last post that PJ had started a garden in our little back patio.  Since I’ve managed to kill off every basil plant I’ve ever owned, I’m glad to have his green thumb.  Here’s a view of our garden (and PJ).  There’s a mystery plant in that concrete planter in the  back corner!  It’s growing super quickly, you can see how high it is getting.  PJ thinks that it is rhubarb.

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So far, the basil and parsley plants are ready to be used.  Last night, I made a rough pesto that I put over pearl couscous.  It’s a bigger grain than regular couscous, but I think that it’s more delicious.  I thought that it came out very good—and was great again for lunch today!

20130506-172500.jpgGarden Pesto

1) Cook couscous according to package directions.

2) In a food processor, combine a handful of fresh parsley and basil, 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, and 2 garlic cloves.

3) Once it is roughly chopped, add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

4) Combine with cooked couscous.  Top if grated cheese if desired.

Source: Adapted from Giada’s Kitchen

Now that we have a street-level door, this is the view people see when they walk by my house.

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What to do with the very last of the tomatoes…

I realize that it’s mid-October and I should have posted these tomato recipes earlier in the summer.  I should probably be posting some sort of pumpkin spice something.  But, I got one last delivery of tomatoes in the farm share not too long ago, so here are a few things to do with the very last of the tomatoes.

First, roasted tomatoes.  I kept seeing these mentioned all over the place this summer and finally decided to try them.  Basically, you slice tomatoes and mix with some olive oil, salt, pepper and a little sugar.  Bake at 350 till they are nearly carmelizing at the edges.  Delicious.

One possible use for roasted tomatoes is in an easy salad for lunch for dinner.  The following recipe uses soba noodles, which are another new discovery of mine.  They are made from buckwheat flour, and are pretty tasty.  This salad could use a whole variety of vegetables, whatever you have in stock.  I think that the addition of chickpeas adds some protein, which I for one, definitely don’t do a very good job of eating enough.  Enjoy!  And thanks for reading.

Directions

Combine:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • soba noodles, cooked per package directions
  • sprinkling of thyme
  • fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese to serve

Source: A Couple of Cooks

How cozy does this kitten look!  Quite the life.

Lemon basil cookies for the end of summer….flowers for the beginning of fall

I’ll be honest, the only reason why I saved this recipe was because sometimes I end up with an overwhelming amount of basil from the farm share.  That being said, this recipe way exceeded my expectations.  These are delicious.  Kind of a sweet and savory mixture which was really unique.  If you have any basil left over from the summer, consider making these today.  Enjoy!  And thanks for reading.

Ingredients
1 stick of butter, room temp.
6 oz. (3/4 cup, 1 tbsp) sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped basil
7 oz. (1 3/4 cup) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

(note: I’ve read that weight measurements tend to result in better tasting baked goods.  I don’t know how true that is, but for this recipe, the amounts for sugar and flour were kind of weird, so I did weigh them out)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and basil.

3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.

4. Spoon dough onto a lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes.

Source: Branny Boils Over

Other summer news:  Look at this fun yellow watermelon I ended up with!  Not as strong tasting as a red watermelon, but a little bit sweeter.

And finally, I realize tomorrow is October, which means it is definitely fall by now.  Here is a picture of the cat attacking my fall tablescape.    I don’t think Sandra Lee would approve.