Fall Gardening – 2015

I choose to believe that fall has actually arrived.  And hopefully it’s starting with a lot of rain.  The swiss chard has revived, there’s lots of butternut squash on the vines, and I’ve started planting the winter garden.  I trimmed all the lambs quarter stalks as support for the sugar snap peas, pea pods, and peas that I just planted.  Carrots and radishes got planted in large pots in the back.  Parsley, dill, and fennel got planted in upper beds, in the back.  I’ll wait to plant lettuce and greens, until the weather is consistently a little cooler.  Typically, I plant seeds because they germinate well, and are much less expensive than plants.  I’m cleaning out the greenhouse to get it ready for greens, lettuce, and maybe carrots.  There are so many mosquitoes in the greenhouse that I have to get suited up like a beekeeper just so I don’t lose a pint of blood out there!

There’s so much Italian basil, and I can’t stand to see it go to waste, so I’m in serious pesto production.  I’ve included my latest recipe below.  Pesto freezes really well, if you don’t use it right away.  It’s a great condiment to have available.  Other than the usual, added to pasta, mix with mayo and top fish or chicken when baking, add a little to potato salad, or toss with halved grape tomatoes and cubed mozzarella.  If you freeze it in small amounts (like in ice cube trays), toss a cube into things like soup.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for this year is the pecan crop.  We’ve never had a large crop, two years in a row.

Basil Macadamia Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine basil, oregano, garlic, and nuts in the food processor. I sometimes add a small squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavor.
  2. With the processor running, drizzle in some oil to make a paste.
  3. Add cheese and pulse to combine, so the cheese doesn't get too broken down.
  4. Add more oil, depending on how thick or loose you want the pesto.
  5. Add a little salt and pepper. Taste for salt, and correct seasoning, if needed.
  6. There are lots of choices for oil and nuts. Pine nuts have gotten really expensive, and macadamia are similar, but with an even higher oil content.
http://www.centexcooks.com/fall-gardening-2015/