Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest Time!

~ lemon sorrel ~
This year the lemon sorrel & wild arugula flourished in the gardens now that the deer have remained on the other side of the fence. (this will be a re-occurring theme in the gardens from now on!)


Last year I was unable to harvest the sorrel & make pesto, so my winter dinner dishes were pretty dreary... Not so this year!

I have my sorrel planted in the corners of my veggie beds - they like deep, rich soil, but should be moved & divided every 4 or 5 years to keep the flavour nice & tangy (lemony).

~ sorrel cut right back ~
 I cut the plants right back - all the way & usually I try to do this a couple times a year. The stuff grows back so quickly, you'll never be long without sorrel leaves to add to salads. I leave the stalks out in the compost pile & just use the leaves. If the leaves are super-large & rather thick, I don't use them - with so much harvested, I could be a little picky at this stage.

~ wild arugula ~
 This year I decided to add the wild arugula to the pesto as well - I had so much of it I couldn't keep up with it in my salads or on our burgers!

This has a slight peppery flavour & is really rich in nutrients. Something we will need in the winter when fresh greens are so hard to come by!

My recipe for 'Green Goddess Pesto'
- fresh sorrel & arugula
- fresh garlic
- salt, whole pepper corns
- olive oil & lemon juice

I use my blender for this & never really measure out the amounts of things. This is a guide-line & done differently every time. I put 3 cloves of peeled garlic, a 1/4 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper corns into the blender. I rip the leaves up into smaller chunks & put in a couple handfuls. Pour in a few Tbsp lemon juice & a few Tbsp olive oil & put the lid on the blender. Start up the blender!

Now it takes a few moments for the leaves to start to catch in the blades & be broken down - as the mixture starts to become your pesto (no nuts, no Parmesan - this is basic pesto!) you can start to add more leaves - I like to make as much in one go as possible so I cram in as much leafy material as possible.

Every once in a while, stop the blender to taste your blend. You may have to add more lemon juice (yes, I like it lemony & usually add another Tbsp or 2), or more garlic (again, another clove or 2). Just keep adding leaves til you have a nice thick blend. Pour into small jars - I have a stash of baby food jars that are the perfect serving size. Make sure to leave head space as this goes into the freezer til you need it & you don't want your jars exploded because there was no room left for the expanding freezing pesto.

It's a funky green colour - which is so wonderful in the dreary rainy days of wet coast winter. Now you can use your imagination when it comes time to eat this. It's great on pizza or mix it up with veggies for a pasta sauce, or mix it up with some sour cream/cream cheese for a veggie dip or put it on top of fresh salmon & bake it.... We love it with eggs Benny - grate some fresh Asiago cheese on top & it goes so well with eggs! mmmmm..... and prawns......
~ Green Goddess Pesto ~

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