Re: [gardeners] Re: Harvesting herbs

George Shirley (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 08:30:12 -0500

Bob Kirk wrote:
> > From: George Shirley <>
> >
> > Yesterday I picked two 10-quart buckets of basil leaves and then
> > discarded the old plants to the compost heap. Washed and dried the
> > leaves and then made pesto. We like the old recipe out of the Betty
> > Crocker cookbook. Two cups of tightly packed basil leaves, 3/4 cup olive
> > oil, 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese....
>     Ever tried it without the parmesan? Like salt added in cooking, much
> of this seems simply to disappear, so you might find you get a lot more
> flavor for the same amount of cheese - or the same for considerably less,
> & as you're no doubt aware dry cheese is pretty intense stuff - by simply
> adding it at the table.

Yeah, I've put up pesto without the cheese and then added it at the
table or just before serving. Just seems to go easier adding it at the
beginning. Actually I prefer pesto without cheese but the rest of the
family likes the cheese. When I'm making it I make sure I'm the one who
gets to lick the spatula and the pan when it's done.

> > We like the pesto cold on pasta or on a freshly baked pizza dough.
> >
>    There the difference might be a little bit noticeable, as it is if
> you're in the habit of standing in the refrigerator door eating shaved
> slices of frozen pesto right off the knife....
>    Amen to the walnuts, though. IMHO pine nuts are something nobody would
> ever eat unless they were too poor or deprived (e.g. Italian peasants, SW
> Native Americans) to get anything better.

Actually I like the pine nuts but they're a pain to get unless you buy
them. Had an old aunt in New Mexico who had a stand of pinon pines on
her ranch, the Apaches used to come in and harvest them every year, just
as they had done for centuries I guess. When we visited she always had a
pound or so for me and I would gobble them up. Agree on the walnuts
though, much better tasting and certainly cheaper around here.