Abracadabra: Presto Pesto

This time of year, I am always scrambling to salvage anything and everything I can out of my garden before the bitter frosts come nipping at the late season vegetables. A frost so daring and bold that even flings with an Indian Summer, the strongest picket fence lined with heavy duty chicken wire, and my clinging thoughts of summer, can’t keep it at bay. 

Moving quickly through my overgrown vegetable plot with my garden shears in hand, I begin to feel like a bargain shopper during the last 10 minutes of a farmers market. Working my way through each and every row, I clip & stock pile everything and anything I can.

One of the largest crops at every summer end is the herbs. What once started out as tiny sprigs of green, are now fragrant bushes screaming out, “Use Me!”

What I have found to be the most magical use of an abundance of herbs, which also allows me to enjoy them year round, is pesto. Although “basic” pesto usually consists of basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic and pine nuts, it is easy to change the ingredients slightly to adapt to different food allergens. Shaking up the recipe can also add even more flavor and zip to the sometime bland gluten and allergen free menus.

Some of my most favorite uses of pesto include tossing it with fresh tomatoes and hot pasta; adding a bit more olive oil, along with fresh cracked pepper and drizzling it over salad greens for a quick and easy salad dressing; and smothered over fresh fish and vegetables before grilling or broiling.

For more pesto pointers and recipe ideas see the article “Pesto Pointers for the Gluten and Allergen Free” on BeFreeForMe.com.

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