“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” John Howard Bryant, American farmer/poet
Flowers are setting seed. Herbs are setting seed. Fat spiders have made wooly nests for their eggs in every crevice. Somewhat tattered butterflies have already tucked their next generation under leaves.
It’s true. All through the garden, every living thing seems to have suddenly switched its focus from today’s joy to the hope of tomorrow.
And, for the gardener, this means a rush of activity. Harvest 2019 is now or never. Some can. Some freeze. Some cook up massive pots of soup. Some make pesto.
Our neighbor, Liz, is among the pesto crowd. She whipped up a batch of autumn-tinged deliciousness a couple of weeks ago, using up an abundance of basil in the process. We were fortunate she had plenty enough to share, along with her recipe.
Liz’s Autumn-Garden Pesto
Toast about one cup of walnuts in a skillet. (Walnuts bring a rich taste of autumn to this pesto, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have any at hand. Experiment with what you have.)
In food processor*, combine the nuts, two cloves of garlic, sea salt and white pepper to taste. Pulse. Add about two cups of loosely packed basil leaves and pulse about six more times, adding some extra virgin olive oil near the end.
Pack the pesto in a jar, topping it with a bit of olive oil to keep it from browning before use. Stores well in refrigerator for a few days.
* If you don’t have a food processor, a good chef’s knife or a hand chopper and some time can achieve similar results.