In the south we’re having one of the worst droughts in history. Many farmers in my state, even though they are receiving help from the government, will not survive this summer and lose their farms. It’s devastating for them, and we’ll certainly see ramifications on food prices this fall.
So I won’t really bellyache about how my garden died and I’m sad. But I am. While I was mourning my basil earlier this week, my friend Sara posted a picture on Twitter of her thriving basil. Since she and her adorable family live very close to us, I invited myself over to “borrow” some of her basil to make pesto. It’s not exactly borrowing since I don’t have any basil to return to her…. Thanks, Sara!
I’ll give you my pesto recipe, but first I want to tell you about freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It makes a difference. Try it and you’ll see. Here’s how you grate it.
1) You have to buy the cheese in a block at the store (even Walmart has it, but I get it at Sams) and the label says Parmigiano-Reggiano; it’s important to look for that label. It doesn’t come in a green can or even shredded in the refrigerated section.
2) Cut the cheese into big chunks.
3) Pulse until cheese is grated.
Lemon Basil Pesto
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cups basil leaves
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
juice of one lemon
2/3-1/2 cup olive oil
In a food processor chop garlic. Add basil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, and pulse until finely chopped. While processor is running, stream in olive oil until desired consistency. Squeeze in lemon and pulse to combine.
Toss with hot pasta and top with more cheese.