Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

basil and nasturtium leaf pesto

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garlic harvest 2021

It was a little scary planting the cloves last fall. Was the spacing right? Would there be enough sunlight? What about the darned squirrel that keeps digging in the dirt? In the end, it turned out alright. Only lost one bulb to the squirrel.

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Fresh basil and garlic soon to become … (drumroll) … pesto! Have a good day, folks. ūüôā

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The inspiration was William Merritt Chase’s Just Onions painting now on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It is a lovely still life of a few onions next to a copper pitcher. Given that I know a certain fellow who is currently obsessed with collecting and restoring copper pots, I figured why not try my own series of “just[fill in the blank]” with the copper pots in the background.

Who knows? This may turn out to be a fun winter project, to sketch out still lives with these refinished copper pots, and then to see if I can bring these ideas to life.

Just Onions by William Merritt Chase, 1912

Just Onions by William Merritt Chase, 1912

Learn more about the actual painting here. And visit my JustFood shop for other food images.

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“You could starve to death in the midst of plenty if you didn’t have garlic!”¬†

— quote by SFH

I’ve always loved the idea that no matter how tart the lemons of life, you can always find some sugar to sprinkle on top.¬† You know, sweeten things up.¬† I forgot you can also mix garlic with lemon and create some tastiness too.

I was reminded of that fact this morning by that fellow in my life.  He is quoted above.  He is absolutely notorious for his use of garlic.  And while one might think that he is joking about starving without garlic, let me assure you that he is not.  In our time together, I have gained a whole new appreciation for garlic spears in steak, garlic-based marinades for beef, chicken and pork, and garlic-rubbed toasted bread served with sliced tomatoes and smoked salmon.

He is perhaps most famous for his pesto.¬† Traditionally, he makes it with fresh basil, lemon juice, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, some black pepper … and a ton of garlic.¬† Now at the drop of a hat, he can make all sorts of variations to accommodate allergies, e.g. replacing pine nuts with carrots for my young cousin.¬† At some point he started adding sundried tomatoes.¬† When pine nuts became a bit scarce, there was a hazelnut experiment.¬† Black walnuts didn’t work so well.

One day I hope to convince him to sit still long enough to write about his philosophies of food, especially around garlic.¬† But I suppose most people would prefer he just keep cooking.¬† ūüėČ

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Stack five to six slices of bacon.  Cut along short end into smaller pieces.  Then cut those slices in half to make chunks.  Toss into cold cast iron pan and cook over high to medium-high heat until brown.  Remove browned bacon pieces and set aside.

While bacon is cooking, dice half a medium onion and set aside.

Once  bacon is cooked, add 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of large peeled and deveined shrimp to bacon grease.  Cook until shrimp are  pink, 1 Р3 minutes.  Remove shrimp.  Add onion to remaining oil, cook for 1 Р2 minutes, then add two cloves of minced  garlic.  Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes to pan.  Stir to mix onions, garlic and tomatoes.  Add 1 T tomato paste and mix in.  Reduce heat.

Add herbs of your choice (italian seasoning, oregano, etc.) salt and pepper to taste.  Add cayenne pepper to taste if you want a little kick.  Add in six to 7 leaves of fresh basil, cook over med heat until sauce thickens a little. Add bacon and shrimp and heat through.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve over pasta of your choice.  Thin spaghetti or thin linguine are good choices.  Or just serve with rice and good, crusty bread to dip in juices.

Photography copyrighted Cynthia Staples.  Recipe copyrighted LMM.

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