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Old 08-10-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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Not my grandma's pesto

But then, my grandma was 100% Swedish, pesto was not something she made. I have a ton of Swiss Chard. I haven't been happy with the results re: blanching and freezing it, so I've been trying to come up with other ways to preserve it for eating in the winter. Pesto. It works for me.

Here's what I did:

1/2 c roasted whole almonds (I'm allergic to pine nuts)
1/2 c Greek basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
9 cups Swiss Chard, ribs removed
1 c grated parm.
~3/4 c olive oil
S&P to taste

1. Pulse the garlic and nuts in the FP.
2. Add some of the Swiss Chard (about 1/4) and the basil. Blend on high. Scrape down the sides.
3. Add 1/4 of the Swiss Chard and 1/4 of the oil through the feed tube with the FP on high. Blend.
4. Add the remaining chard and oil. Taste. Add more oil if needed.
5. Add the pepper. Add the salt.
5. Add the cheese. Taste. Add more oil/cheese/chard/basil if needed.

I used my small cookie dough scoop to dole it out as mounds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I placed this in the freezer that has the flash-freeze setting. Once frozen, they are going into a zippie for use later. Not my grandma's pesto, but then, my grandma wasn't Italian. And, for the purists out there, don't knock it until you've tried it. I also like pesto made with cilantro and basil.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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Did this again today--only I added 1 T of anchovy paste and some fresh lemon zest. OMG. Definitely not my grandma's pesto--but it was SOOOO good.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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I must have missed this topic before. Going to share it w/ Dx. She gets swiss chard in her CSA box. She already splits the order, but still she gets more than she can use.

Now, how to manage all that zuchinni...

I know gardening is a lot of work, I hope you are having fun this summer too.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:26 AM   #4
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my chard didn't do well this year but I'll bear this in mind. My grandmas wouldn't know pesto if it hit them in the face (French-Canadian women who long since met their makers, and who generally threw a piece of meat and some veg into a pot of water and boiled it all day).

I've found "pesto" of various types a great way to preserve leafy vegs and herbs. Right now I'm thinking of sage, thyme, and garlic. I've not had great luck with drying herbs.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
my chard didn't do well this year but I'll bear this in mind. My grandmas wouldn't know pesto if it hit them in the face (French-Canadian women who long since met their makers, and who generally threw a piece of meat and some veg into a pot of water and boiled it all day).

I've found "pesto" of various types a great way to preserve leafy vegs and herbs. Right now I'm thinking of sage, thyme, and garlic. I've not had great luck with drying herbs.
Sounds like folks I knew.

Drying herbs is really very easy. Tie a bunch together, and hang them upside down. Do you have a garage? Hang them out there from the rafters. Or run a thick string across a room that you don't use that often. Run the string up high. Tie the bunches from there.

There is a little herb stand in Vermont on the Mohawk Trail. It smells so heavely in there. In the early morning the two women go out and find wild herbs. Then they tie them up and hang them. They even give you a small note telling you what the herb is and what food it is used best in. They even do wild flowers. Queen Ann's Lace, Goldenrod, Bluebells, etc.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Cheers for the recipe CWS
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:45 AM   #7
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Yeah, the hanging thing works ... if you don't have humidity and spider webs. I have so much sage and thyme this year that I'm going to try it, but I usually wind up with mildew and cobwebs. Yes, I have a garage ... a two story, two bay garage. But when I go out to check on the herbs, they're usually inedible with cobwebs and mildew. And ... believe it or not, I'm considered the best house-keeper of my friends.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:38 AM   #8
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Yeah, the hanging thing works ... if you don't have humidity and spider webs. I have so much sage and thyme this year that I'm going to try it, but I usually wind up with mildew and cobwebs. Yes, I have a garage ... a two story, two bay garage. But when I go out to check on the herbs, they're usually inedible with cobwebs and mildew. And ... believe it or not, I'm considered the best house-keeper of my friends.
I noticed at the little place in Vermont, they didn't hang their bunches too close together. It allows the air to flow freely around them. Thus no mildew. The spiders? Well, all I can say is those pesky little things will get you every time. They can build a web faster than you can break them down. I don't have an answer for them.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:57 AM   #9
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I have also made pesto from kale. I remove the ribs, blanch it for about 2 minutes, shock, and then pulse. Really tasty with anchovy paste added.
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