Traditional Pesto with Gnocchi

We were a little hesitant to post a recipe for pesto. It's really rather simplistic to make so why bother? We decided though, that it's the quality of the individual ingredients you select that's most important, and there's no shortage of those here in Maine for us to highlight.

The seeds for this idea were planted when Missus Gray brought home a bunch of fresh basil from Olivia's Garden in New Gloucester. Really that's not that out of the ordinary. It's on our shopping list every week anyway. Primarily because we've found that Olivia's consistently offers some of the highest quality tomatoes and basil around. If we're not buying farmers' market tomatoes, they're Olivia's. Olivia's Garden is also associated with Maine-ly Hydroponics and their greenhouses are close to Pineland at 163 Valley Farm Road, New Gloucester. Their fine 'maters often find their way to the Saco Farmers' Market as well.

Another face that's consistently at the Saco Farmers' Market is Lakonía Greek Products. It's their olive oil that we've decided to use as the other showcase flavor in our pesto. Lakonía is a family business with roots on the Peloponnese peninsula, in the company's namesake region. When founder Daphne Contraros Rioux rediscovered her homeland in 1990 she also discovered the fine quality unfiltered olive oils and after a while started shipping it back to the states, more specifically Saco, and selling it at the Farmer's Market. We love the stuff. Try the early harvest oils which are spicy, brash, and green in all the good ways. The late harvest is mellow and smooth with, as the website says, hints of almonds and sea spray. Sounds luscious! Try either here in the pesto depending upon your preference.

One last plug. Even though they're not in Maine, we think Rising Moon Organics products are swell. We coated their Garlic & Basil Gnocchi with our pesto and were real happy with the results. Many of their products are certified vegan and all of them are organic. Try the ravioli too.

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves removed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

In food processor combine garlic, walnuts, and kosher salt. Process to a fine grind. Add basil leaves and process again until the basil is minced. With processor running, slowly add olive oil followed by lemon juice. We gobbled ours right up but it will definitely store for a couple of weeks if properly refrigerated. Cover surface of pesto with a layer of olive oil to prevent discoloration. Makes 1 1/2 cups.


Mihl said...

There's nothing wrong with another pesto recipe. i could eat pesto every day anyway!

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