Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The smells of fresh herbs in the garden... Anyone can grow herbs and they are almost always going to grow just fine. My garden is bursting with oregano, thyme and rosemary. The vegetables didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped this year. Too much heat at the wrong time I think.

The brussel sprouts just didn't sprout, the beans looked deformed, the onion sets never took and the peas just tangled with the onions. My roma tomatoes did just fine and my pepper plants flourished. I must go pick some of the jalepenos though. I have some peppers drying inside for an upcoming chipotle dish.

I picked some of the basil early to make some pesto and we didn't have as much as I would have liked near the end of the summer. Off to the market and we came home with a nice large bouquet of basil.

I could definitely make more with this batch.

Years ago, at a restaurant I worked at, they made a pesto dipping oil for the bread for guests. I never enjoyed it then. I don't know what was wrong with me. A couple years ago, I bought a pesto dip/sauce/just pesto in a fancy jar at a festival and then I brought it to a party along with a baguette and some extra oil to make it a bit more of a dipping oil. It was incredibly addictive mainly because of all the garlic in it I think.

There are so many pesto recipes out there. I don't enjoy pine nuts and there are plenty of alternatives out there such as walnuts or almonds but I choose to leave it out altogether.

Easy Pesto
  • 4 cups loosely packed basil, washed and dry
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic or more - Hey, why not? I have no one to kiss.
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
I throw all the ingredients into the Ninja ( food processor) and give it a few pulses.


I added lots of oil to it afterwards to swirl it up.

I had some Italian flatbread from GF Patisserie, and warmed it for a nice bread to dip.

We'd recently bought some fresh mozzarella to make Insalata Caprese... fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and salt and pepper, maybe a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you're feeling crazy.

We had just come from the market and I was planning on having some bread with pesto and since we had fresh cherry tomatoes, I decided to change up the Caprese a little.
Little ripe cherry tomatoes...

Fresh pesto...

And small chunks of fresh mozzarella...

The basil thoroughly mixes with the tomatoes and cheese for much grander flavour.

Another day, I wanted to make something along the lines of My Sundried Tomato and Basil Cheese Dip.

I was making some of the Easy Pesto and placed about 7 pieces of sundried tomatoes in a cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes until they plumped back up. Then I added them to the Ninja processor and pulsed it all on up.

I poured a little olive oil on some baguette from Aidan's Gluten Free and broiled it for a couple minutes and then added some of the Sundried Tomato Basil Pesto. Delicieux!

And to round out the Pesto EXTRAVAGANZA!, a delightful little number I like to call Sundried Tomato Basil Stuffed Chicken. A little chicken, a little cheese, a little STB pesto, grilled on up...

Fresh new potatoes, green and yellow beans with dill and parmesan

I think I won't have enough frozen pesto to last out the year. Might need to start growing some indoors I think!

This post is linked to Simply Gluten Free's Gluten Free Photo Contest.


  1. Yay! Everything looks amazing!! My basil didn't do so well this year, either. I have enough to add to dishes, but not nearly enough for a big batch of pesto. I can't wait to try making the sundried tomato dip. Sounds so good!

  2. Thanks! We really don't have any more in the garden now. Just the other herbs which I have to dry soon. You should head down to the market for a big bunch. I am dying to have the STB mix on some pasta.

  3. Pesto is one of my alltime favourite foods. And as yoiu demonstrated it's more versitile than ketchup

  4. It definitely is versatile. I had a lot of fun with it.