Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Castle Grounds....

My basil runneth over

I planted my garden very, very late this year.

I was distracted.

Most of the garden doesn't look so good. The squash and zucchini have been pretty disappointing. The tomatoes are doing ok but the sweet corn is practically wasted space this year.

My main herb garden is in a spot where it gets a lot of late afternoon shade. This makes it a slow starter in spring, but as the days get longer and hotter it really starts to thrive. Perfect for late summer peppers, and pesto.

I love basil, so every year I liberally scatter basil seeds among the other vegetables in the garden. I use it as it comes up and by the time it's petering out the shady spot is producing. This year, we had a longer and cooler spring than usual so everything is a little behind. This year in my small plot the basil is almost choking out the peppers, as you can see in the photo, ..... so.... It's pesto time!!

Tonight for dinner I have some pumpkin tortellini that I really love. It comes frozen, but it is really, really good. (Central Market Anne, you're going to miss it!) I will throw some basil into the mortar and pound it up with some garlic, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I don't have any pine nuts, but I do have some pecans in the freezer and I think that might go well with the pumpkin in the tortellini. I'll let you know.

I will also chop up a tomato and some chili to add in at the last minute. To go with, I will slice a couple of tomatoes and sprinkle them with a chiffonade of basil and some salt and pepper and drizzle it with a very floral olive oil.

Fresh pineapple for dessert.

The mis en place

I can't really cook like this when the kids are here, so I'll make it while I can. It helps to keep me busy and keep my mind off of other things.

I wish you could join me, Brave Sir Robin hates to eat alone. But that's another post......


celticfeminist said...

Good gravy, that sounds tasty. Too bad I'm out in OH, or else I'd certainly crash your dinner. :)

Brave Sir Robin said...

Well, I hate to say it wasn't as good as I hoped.

The pesto proved to be a bit overwhelming for the pumpkin. I usually make a little beurre blanc with some fresh sage or basil tossed in for that pasta. The pesto really didn't work. It wasn't gross or anything, but it wasn't as good.

The tomatoes and pineapple were, on the other hand, terrific!!

Next time you're in the neighborhood, stop in for dinner.


Gourmet Goddess said...

You know it's weird, but I almost never like the things I cook for myself. Which is why I eat like crap when I eat alone. But when I can cook for others or have others join me, the food is always divine. Company is a wonderful thing.

Celticfeminist, I am in IL. Come join me!

Seriously, though, next Monday I am going to an outdoor picnic and concert and am bringing a caprese pasta salad - pasta, cherry tomatoes, basil, and pearl mozzarella with good olice oil and lemon juice, salt, and pepper. i might bring some bresaola on the side for the carnivores... yum yum!

Anne said...

Well, I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed, but the pesto sounded excellent--as did the tortellini (I love their pesto tortellini). The basil looks delicious.

And yes, I will miss Central Market something awful. Sigh. I shouldn't complain, as it's not like I'm short of great food options here, but Central Market is pretty awesome.

Brave Sir Robin said...

The Pesto was great, it just didn't compliment the pumpkin tortelinni.


Discloser: We don't actually have a Central Market in my town. Central Market is an upscale H.E.B., we have a regular H.E.B., but they do stock some items with the Central Market label.

And yes, the basil is wonderful!

I'll have to post a picture of the cinnamon basil. It is great too.

Anne said...

Ahh, I was wondering how you got the CM tortellini! It's great that they stock CM items in the other HEB stores. All of the ones I've tried have been excellent.

I've never tried cinnamon basil! Does it really have a cinnamon flavor to it?

Brave Sir Robin said...

It doesn't really taste like cinnamon, but it has the fragrance, especially when you just bruise the raw leaves. It does have a more subtle, less minty taste than regular sweet basil.

celticfeminist said...

Sir Robin - I'm sorry it didn't turn out as you hoped, but it still sounds good. Besides - all cooking is nothing more than experimenting. Sometimes it doesn't work, other times you discover brilliance. ;) If I ever find myself in your neck of the woods (you know, I have never been to TX), I'll definitely stop by for dinner. I'm all about other people cooking for me. *grin*

gourmet goddess - Don't tempt me! IL is only a few hours drive away and I'm such a food fan I'd make that drive in a heartbeat. Especially if someone else is doing the cooking. *grin* (I can't believe I just repeated a joke within a couple of sentences apart. I'm so lame!)

And dee-am, your pasta salad sounds divine to this vegetarian. ;)

somewaterytart said...



Anne said...

Yep, Tart just about summed it up. :)