Thousand Flower Farm is located on Waldron Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We grow vegetables, fruit, and flowers, raise sheep, weave rugs and knit hats for sale mainly in Friday Harbor, WA on nearby San Juan Island.
There was a light frost last night. We do get the first frost of every year on the island as we are in a frost pocket. It didn't do much damage but is a warning that cold nights are coming and we need to get covers over all the tender plants before tonight. The basil has been covered for weeks as it doesn't like even 50 degree nights (F). So I was really glad that I harvested about 4 gallons of the stuff yesterday. Time for the annual mad pesto making.
First to wash and spin dry the basil in our big greens spinner.
Traditional recipes usually call for pine nuts but those are hugely expensive, although delicious, so I usually use whatever I can find often simply sunflower seeds. But Joel's Mom, Millie, has a wonderful English walnut tree and we have a bucket of walnuts left from last year that need to be used up. So this year it's walnuts.
I checked several recipes on the internet for basic proportions but since what I have in abundance is basil I used about twice as much as the most generous recipe called for. I can skimp on the things I have to buy and use lots of what we grow like the basil, the walnuts and garlic. So I used about 8 cups of basil, 6 or 7 fat garlic cloves, half to 3/4 cup of nuts and a half cup each of olive oil and parmesan cheese. It's probably not as creamy as perfect pesto but when I licked my fingers it tasted good.
So into the freezer go 15 little half pint jars of the stuff. Our favorite way to use it is just to toss with cooked pasta or on pizza instead of tomato sauce. I also make biscuits where I pat out half of the dough into a pie pan, spread with pesto and cover with the other half of the biscuit dough. Yummy.