Basil Pesto 

2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, picked after the dew dries but before the hot sun.
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, or blender, combine all the ingredients except the cheese.  Process the mixture in short bursts until it is smooth.

(It should not be too wet. If it seems too oily, you can add more basil, I add the oil gradually)

Scrape down the sides as you work. After you mix everything to a firm consistency, put into a bowl  (that has a lid) and stir in the Parmesan cheese and chill. Add to sauce, bread, etc.   (Pesto keeps in the fridge up to one week.)


Basil and Parsley Pesto
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 or more garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil leaves, hard-packed
½ cup fresh parsley, hard-packed
¼ cup nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.)
½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

I usually chopped the nuts and garlic up before I add the herbs. Place the herbs in a blender or food processor, and slowly add the oil as you are pureeing the herbs.  Then add the cheese.  Can be used immediately or freeze in small containers for later use. (I sometimes use ice cube trays for small “cubes” of pesto, ideal for freezing and adding to Italian sauces or on bread.) If you are going to freeze the mixture for more than three months, leave the garlic out because it can get bitter when frozen, add it when you use the pesto. Great with pasta, rice, fish, vegetables, and in soup. (Pesto keeps in the fridge up to one week.)

Rosemary and Parsley Herb Pesto
1/2 cup fresh rosemary
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In food processor, combine rosemary and parsley, oil, garlic, and  salt. Process until blended and smooth. Stir in cheese. Can use immediately or freeze for later . (Pesto keeps in the fridge up to one week.)

Garden Thyme Salsa

16 lbs of tomatoes (approx. 40 to 50)
5 to 8 cup sweet peppers, chopped
2 to 3 cups hot peppers, or to taste, chopped (be sure to wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes!)
5 lg. cloves (not 5 heads, just the cloves) or to taste, minced
5 to 7 cups sweet onions, chopped
4 T. sugar if desired
2 Cups cider vinegar
4 T. fresh cilantro (or parsley) chopped
2 T. salt, to taste (Kosher canning, no iodine)
1 qt. tomato sauce (save back until filling jars)

Combine ingredients in a large kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir at least once.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop the salsa into sterilized pint or quart jars, pack down and run a rubber spatula around the inside edge to eliminate any air bubbles. Add additional tomato sauce if desired.

Seal and process in hot water bath 35 minutes for pints; 45 minutes for quarts – or – pressure canner 10 lbs. pressure for 10 minutes pints, 15 minutes quarts.

This makes a lot!

©Garden Thyme Herbs 1994

Herbal Butter
Have you ever tried herbal butter? It is very good and very easy to make.
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (or 1 T. dried herbs, dried have a more concentrated herb flavor but fresh is better if you have them)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Chop herbs fine, cream the butter and then add to the herbs and seasonings. Can use immediately or can be frozen for 6 months.
(recipe can be increased for more butter.)