Summer Member Event: Pesto Through the Seasons

Summer Member Event: Pesto Through the Seasons

  • posted on: August 4, 2014
  • posted by: 21 Acres
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On Saturday, July 19, 21 Acres hosted our summer member event:  Pesto Through the Seasons.  It was a great opportunity for members to meet each other and 21 Acres’ staff, tour the farm, and have a cooking lesson from our amazing chefs.

Cooler weather and cloudy skies made for an enjoyable time on the farm after our heat wave the previous week.  Mary gave us a brief overview of the farm, what is growing, and a few gardening tips.  We did a taste test of curly and flat-leafed parsley, harvested carrots and basil, checked out the tomato progress in the greenhouse, and everyone survived a mini obstacle course as we shimmied around gates and traveled over uneven ground.  We were a hardy bunch.

After our farm tour, the members hurried up to the kitchen as Sue was ready and waiting and put us immediately to work. Everyone was chopping garlic, cleaning carrot tops, cutting up bread, and stripping basil leaves.  We started making a carrot top pesto.  Who knew you could use the carrot tops?  Not me, but they were delicious.  The carrot top pesto was mixed with potatoes and roasted in the oven.

Next on the agenda was the basil pesto.  A classic with a twist in the 21 Acres’ kitchen.  Sue added a jalapeno pepper to the mix which added a nice little kick.  We used some of Asako’s Apple Sourdough bread, spread on the pesto, and topped it with some Mt. Townsend Creamery Seastack Cheese.  It was such an easy appetizer, I made some at home the next night before dinner.

Kale pesto was next and my personal favorite.  It had a beautiful, light green color.  We used some of Asako’s pizza dough and made pesto pizzas with Golden Glen cheese.  It was a very thin pizza and so easy to make and the combinations to try are endless.

Finally, we had a free for all in the blender and threw in the rest of the basil (Italian, red, lemon), a little kale, and another pepper.  Sue mixed it with some ricotta that she had made earlier and rolled the mixture into blanched spinach leaves.  Everything was delicious, we all left with new ideas for making pesto, and everyone took a jar home to create a masterpiece in their own kitchen.

If you aren’t a member yet, I encourage you to support 21 Acres and join today.  Send me an email for details, jen@21acres.org.  We are planning our next member event for the fall and it will involve pumpkins.  And thank you to all of our current members.  It has been a true joy getting to know you.

— Jen