summer pesto with a few variations

I profess an undying love for pesto and make it all summer long.  At the end of summer, my last batch is frozen into logs or ice cube trays to add a welcome zip of summer to winter soups and stews.  This recipe makes close to 2 cups and can easily be halved.
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, stems and flowers removed
  • 1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 C. lightly toasted pine nuts (toast them under the broiler or on the stove in a dry pan, but toast them you must, this is an important step!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • the juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C. best quality olive oil
Whirl first 6 ingredients in food processor for one minute.  Drizzle in olive oil until the consistency you prefer.  If you plan on serving this later, put in a ramekin and paint the top with a light coat of olive oil or lemon juice to prevent discoloration.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Freezes well.


Add a few mint leaves, more or less to taste, for a hint of mint.
Add a few nasturtium leaves, more or less to taste, for a light, peppery taste.

Click here for printable recipe.

A summertime hostess gift.


summery stuffed bell peppers

This summer my son asked me for stuffed bell peppers, but made without rice or any grain.  I came up with this recipe and we've decided we like it better than my years-old, beloved family recipe!  

1 1/2 lbs. ground round steak
2 C. chopped kale
2 C. grated summer squash, lightly squeezed of excess water
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. chopped tomato, divided, or 1 can chopped tomatoes, drained, divided
2-3 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs, mixed (I used oregano, marjoram, sage, and rosemary) 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed dried pepper

3 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, with seeds and membranes removed 
small amount of olive oil

Mix the first 10 ingredients, reserving half the tomatoes.  Mound meat mixture into halved bell peppers and top with remaining chopped tomatoes.  Pour a little bit of olive oil over the peppers and cover lightly with foil.  Bake at 400 F for 1 hour or until done, removing foil for last 15 minutes or so.  6 servings.  These freeze well cooked or uncooked.  I always double the recipe and put them uncooked in the freezer where they will last for up to 3 months.