Green Stuff & Find of the Week

So far...........I have a bumper crop of basil this summer. What to do with all that green deliciousness? I've done all the typical things like cucumber and tomato and basil salad (bumper crop of cukes too) and grilled cheese, tomato and basil sandwiches. YUM! But I have never in my life had pesto. Now I have a jar of pesto in the cupboard that I probably bought ...hmmmm...maybe two years ago because I thought it made me look so culinary and gourmet like :) Never did use it though. So I got on the internet and started looking for pesto recipes.

What I found was lots of debate on what a true pesto is and how it's made. But basically if it's not made with fresh young basil leaves it's not pesto. In other words you can't substitute parsley instead. Since I don't happen to have a mortar and pestle in my kitchen I chose another method of chopping instead of using a food processor. Yes, it takes a lot longer but I think the pesto is prettier and allows for a distinction in the taste of the nuts and cheese and it's not the consistency of paste. I also don't have a mezzaluna for chopping so I used my chef's knife. I made two batches....one for me and one for my good neighbor. They loved it! Lastly, I didn't have enough pine nuts so I did a half and half mixture of walnuts and pine nuts. That chopping block I am using was Bobby G.'s mechanical arts board he used in high school. Over the years I have used it for many things such as a fruit and cheese tray board at parties. Here goes:

Italian Pesto Made with American Basil :)

2 cups tight packed basil, washed and dried (no stems)
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, loosely packed and freshly grated
a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Start by chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scraped and chopped, scraped and chopped, scraped and chopped. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts and chop. Add the rest of the nuts and chop. (are you tired of chopping yet?) Add half the parmesan, chop. I added sea salt to taste. Add the rest of the parmesan, and chop. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with the olive oil.

You can see in the photos that I used spaghetti with mine. Before mixing the pesto with the spaghetti I stirred the pesto up with the olive oil and thinned the pesto with some of the pasta water. You may adjust the seasonings again at this point. I topped the pasta dish with more freshly grated parmesan. Bon Appetite!

This past weekend Bobby G. and I (he reluctantly....me excitedly) went to a new antique place. It was called the Marqet Place. It had lots of the typical flea market new stuff that I normally just zip by. I am on the hunt for a armoire or large hutch for my studio. I didn't find either but I did snag this adorable old metal step stool for the boutique. Don't you just love the shabby blue color of it. Adorable for a retro kitchen, the bath or use on a porch to sit plants on. Lots of uses for this charmer.

If you don't do altered art then you will probably not understand why I got so excited at this find. I have been looking and looking out there for this stuff in the right colors. Woohoo! I hit the motherlode and in the best aquas, baby blues, peachy pink, worn white, mint greens and even some browns and oranges for this Fall. My little pea pickin' brain is just swirling with ideas. Can you see the prices on some of them? One of them sold for 19 cents. :)

Have a wonderful middle of the week day y'all. xoxo Lynn


BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Lynn!! Love your basil...and that recipe looks quite easy..
I adore that lil stepstool...I could use it to get in and out of my bed!!

Anonymous said...

You have been up to good things. I love pesto.

That stool is wonderful. I was wishing I had a place to use it, but I can't think of where.

Anonymous said...

Honey, you're a lot more "culinary" than me! I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to do that! You sure did figure it out though. So your family will be happy at your dinner table! And I love your "finds." I just can't get enough of vintage sewing stuff.

Devonia said...

Gosh, Lynn, I just have to ask, do you bind the edges of your paper, use this for ribbon, bows - sure wish I could see an example. Such pretty colors! And one piece is iron-on too! Hmmmm... Altered art totally intrigues me. Do a Show & Tell real soon! My bests, Devonia

{oc cottage} said...

Looks sooooooo yummy!

M ^..^

Louise said...

Your basil is HUGE! Mine is slowly plodding along, but here in the desert I use it about as fast as it grows.

You might already know this, but you can freeze pesto to have that lovely taste in the winter. I freeze mine in ice cube trays so I have small amounts. I can use just one or several cubes as needed. (A sad day for me is when the frost kills the basil in the fall.)

Great antique shop finds in very trendy colors!

Anonymous said...

Lynn,thanks for the recipe looks yummy and can't wait to try it. Great finds.

Sandi McBride said...

Oh Lynn, I love pesto and put it in salads, in my spagetti sauce, over my spagetti and olive oil with mushrooms...Evil Sister makes the best pesto in the world...I'll bet yours is delish, too!

CatHerder said...

Pesto is one of my weaknesses. I love to make pizza on the grill with pesto on it, or grilled garlic bread with pesto..MMMM. I have made so much pesto the last couple of weeks, that my herb garden is almost void of it!!!! Next year Im planting tons so I can harvest it, make the pesto and freeze it. I will try your recipe next time...i have been omitting the pine nuts and adding a bit of fresh lime juice.

Tara said...

Hi Lynn

I love pesto...I take a jar like yours and freeze portions in an ice cube tray. Then I freeze the portions so we have fresh pesto on hand all the time!


The Other Side of Me said...

Great post! That pesto is looking so fantastic. I hope you enjoyed your dinner. (I can't get my basil to grow, ever) Enjoy yours!
Great finds. Looking forward to seeing some of your creations.

Gone said...

This recipe sounds terrific!!!

Thanks for the visit and the comment!! Wisconsin is where I came from (grew up there) when I moved to Michigan to marry Tom 3 years ago! Door County was my favorite vacation spot...and we honeymooned there...and go back 2 times a year!!


CIELO said...

Could you please hand me the Lynn's Deliciously Good Home Made Pesto!! In fact, can I take it home with me? Wow, that truly looks deliciously good... my family loves pesto, but I don't know how to make it so our pesto is never as fresh as yours... THANK YOU for sharing the recipe...



Connie said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhh, I love that little blue stool, little chick!! I wish I had found it. Better go shopping again before I leave S. Calif..

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Oh Lynn that looks so yummy...I have been putting off making dinner and now I have to go do it. I'm starting to drool....


Attic Clutter said...

HI Lynn..Oh thanks on the sweet words and well wishes(:)
I love your banner, really a pretty one and the pesto looks delish I have made it in the blender and it tastes so good, may try your method next time I grow it~~.. I didn't grow any this year '''so you should sell yours''(:) LOL ..no really, do you ??.... hugs Patty

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Lynn, I'm so glad I found your blog and thank you for your vote. I was thinking of joining MMP besides putting the ad in Romantic Home, I think maybe I should do both. All of you with MMP seem to have so much fun. Your treasures are truly great finds. On the presto how long will it last?

Art by Ronda Juniper Ray said...

What a great idea to mix half pine nuts/half walnuts! Will definitely try your recipe and make that little change.

My eyeballs are melting in love and lust at your seam binding - totally THE best colors!

Great stool -- happy hunting for an equally fab armoire!

Unknown said...

Ooooh Lynn,
What a yummy find! Altered art here we come! Love the seam binding, and the fact that it's retro, bonus round....
Theresa @ Cottage Violets

Lallee said...

Oh dear, it's only 10:00 AM and you've made me hungry for lunch already ;-) I love pesto! I made some a few years ago and followed a suggestion to freeze extra in ice cube trays. It was the perfect amount to put on hot pasta. I need to go get some basil plants--I'm way behind this year. Oh, and I used walnuts too.

I love your vintage finds. I *get it* about all of them--great colors.


GMG said...

Hi Lynn! I'm surely going to try your pesto recipe!!
Meanwhile Blogtrotter has now posted my 401st post (on Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)! Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Les Cotrions said...

Ciao Lynn! How was the pesto??? Was it good?? We eat a lot of pasta al pesto here in Italy mostly during the summer when basil is...delicious! You can try another receipe...have you ever eaten lasagne al pesto???
Very nice your metal step!
Have a nice week end!

Donna said...

Hi Lynn,
I love pesto! Thanks for the recipe, and your meal looks yummy!

Also love that little blue stool! Great vintage finds!


Janet said...

That pesto looks delicious. My basil plant never produces all that much, perhaps because I tend to use it every other day for something and it just never catches up, lol.

That seam binding and bias tape brings back many memories of the days when sewing mini-skirts was a the way to a bigger wardrobe. A half a yard of fabric per skirt!! Is that scary or what?? I can't imagine how much that would cover now...and I don't want to think about it.


Anonymous said...

That Pesto looks so scrumptious! I just might try my hand at that. I love your vintage finds! The stool is a real treasure and the sewing notions are great. Have fun creating with them.

Tracy said...

mmm...nothing like homemade pesto! It's so much better than the store-bought jarred kind. And gerat way to use all that gorgeous basil. I just LOVE vintage notions--even if I don't use them, I like to just look at them and think of times past...Thanks so much for visiting me, Lynn :o) Since we got back from London it's been great to catch up with everyone in blogland. Happy week to you ((HUGS))

Joanne Kennedy said...

Oh yummy! I've printed out your recipe and am so making this for dinner this week. I love pesto but have never made it. I'm excited to give this a try. Hope it comes out as good as yours.


Anonymous said...

yum I'm going to try your pesto. love it. Great pictures and I know you had a delish meal too. Nice blog :o)

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