March 21, 2012 by Sarah
These days, all I dream of is my summer garden. I’ve done my research, plotted out the space, and got my husband to build four 4′ by 6′ boxed gardens. They look awesome. I’ve been slowly filling the boxes with leaves from around our yard and topping them off with soil and compost. So far, I’ve only planted spinach and snap pea seeds, but in my mind I have grand plans for the boxes to be full of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, chard, lettuce, peppers, and herbs by the end of the summer. I have these great little index cards where I’ve mapped out where everything is going to go.
One thing I plan to grow in abundance is parsley. Bright green, flat leaf parsley. I feel like I can never get enough of it. Recently, I stumbled upon a parsley and lemon pesto recipe from Martha Stewart that I’ve since made three times. It’s that good, really. Yes, basil is the classic herb for pesto, but parsley and lemon bring a brightness to pasta that I just really love.
This last Saturday, I whirled together the pesto and tossed it with a pound of fusilli, a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, sauteed tomatoes, and a handful of slivered almonds to create a vegetarian pasta. I’ve also done it with spaghetti and thin slices of leftover prime rib. Both were delicious.
With warmer weather and rain in the forecast this next week in the Bay Area, I think it’s time to get some parsley seeds planted outside. I have a feeling I’m going to be making a lot of this pesto this summer.
Parsley and Lemon Pesto, Adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine
2 cups flat leaf parsley leaves, about one bunch packed
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pulse parsley, garlic, pine nuts, salt, lemon zest, and red-pepper flakes in a food processor until finely chopped. With machine running, add oil in a slow and steady stream until blended. Toss with pasta.