If you use Twitter and have been following my recent “tweets” you will notice a few late night pesto batches being made. We all know that the more basil you pick, the more basil your plants produce and the less likely they are to flower and go to seed. About every other week, or every week this time of year, I have been clipping off baskets full of the fresh herb. It only takes about 10 minutes to make up a huge batch of simple pesto, which keeps very well in the freezer.

There are a million basic pesto recipes, but they all tend to go something like this:

  • 2 c. basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

You simply pack everything into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. They say it only keeps in the freezer for a month, but mine lasted all winter long. I save my old plastic, disposable deli containers and reuse for freezer storage. I had some aging grape tomatoes I threw into this batch, so the recipe is meant to be altered depending on what you have lying around.

Trying out new things the other night, I made up a dinner of rice and various roasted vegetables from the garden. The big winner of the meal were the carrots – specifically they are Maple-Roasted Carrots and it’s from the Serving Up the Harvest book, by Andrea Chesman. It was so good that I felt like I was eating dessert for dinner. Here is the basic gist:

  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 T. oil
  • salt
  • 1T. butter
  • 2T. maple syrup
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet with oil. Drizzle carrots with oil, toss to coat and arrange in single layer. Roast 15 minutes.

Melt butter and mix with maple syrup. Drizzle mixture over carrots, tossing to coat. Roast 5-10 additional minutes, until lightly browned and soft.

Transfer to a serving dish, pouring liquid from pan over carrots. Garnish with chopped herbs and serve hot.

Seriously, so good. i have about six rows of carrots all nearing the time for picking, but I don’t think a single one will get wasted due to this recipe. The butter/maple syrup mixture caramelizes the carrots. It makes me hungry to think about.

More recipes to come as I move through the harvest!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson