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Cilantro Pesto and Farm-Direct Veggies

July 6, 2011

If this doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what will:

That’s a diakon radish–a spread eagle one no less–and two turnips…and a fellow diakon.

This growing season we are delighted to have a farm share from A Rocha Canada in Surrey.  We know the good folks at A Rocha (and we had our wedding on their land just under three years ago now–just before they put a moratorium on renting out their property for weddings…they are, after all, doing conservation and running a farm, not an wedding venue…we feel pretty lucky), and we’ve been hoping to get in on the goods for a couple years now.

Well, this summer we’re in.  Which means we get a lot of veggies every Friday from now until sometime this fall.  And there are only two of us…and Jacob…and he doesn’t really pull his weight yet when it comes to making a significant dent in things like garlic scapes and diakon radishes.  No doubt one day (and one day not too far off) he will, or so at least a mother can hope.  For now, it’s up to Joshua and I to eat our weekly share (estimated to serve a 4 to 5 person household) of vegetables or preserve it, before the next Friday roles around.  No complaints here–Saturday night we polished off a very large spinach salad for dinner (accompanied by a Pecan-Cranberry-Currant Baguette from our favorite neighborhood bakery), and on Sunday morning I made cilantro pesto with our large bunch of cilantro and some of the scapes.  I’ve used it as the dressing for a daikon radish and red cabbage coleslaw, and I plan to try it over pasta for a little change from basil pesto, and perhaps as a garnish over some sort of fish which is yet to be determined.

Cilantro Pesto

2 cups (packed) washed, dried and chopped cilantro (large stems removed but don’t obsess about this)

1/2 cup toasted almonds and/or sunflower seeds, chopped (whatever combo you like here–pumpkin seeds would be nice too)

1 roasted (or fresh if you like more kick) jalepeno, skin removed and chopped (once you blacken the skin under the broiler, put the jalepeno in a small bowl and cover with a plate, allowing the stem to loosen the skin for easy removal)

1/2 tsp salt

juice of 1 lime

2-3 garlic scapes, chopped (or 1-2 cloves–scapes are milder so I used more)

1/4 cup olive oil

optional: add 1/4 chopped red onion (I didn’t have any on hand; I’d have put some in if I did)

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender, or with a wand blender (which is what we have, which is why I chop everything first).  Fill sanitized jars and cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil–this seals out the air.  Put a lid on it and keep it refrigerated for a up to a month.

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