In my circle of friends and family, people know I do a major Labor Day Weekend canning and preserving effort. Isn’t that the meaning of Labor Day? Isn’t this the weekend Mrs. Eugene Debs put up 14 bushels of tomatoes and peppers? So- if I break down and give you my two best recipes would you please stop calling and leave me to my canning?
2 c fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, — chopped
2 oz pine nuts
Salt and pepper
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil
Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and 1/2 teaspoon
salt in the food processor, grind into a paste. Add
the cheese and grind until thoroughly blended. With
the machine running slowly add the oil. Adjust the
seasonings. Yield: 1 generous cup
I do not skimp on quality for this recipe- use really good 1st press olive oil, fresh pine nuts, basil and garlic. I find this recipe, complete with oil, freezes well. I freeze it in 1 meal size portions (about 1/2 cup is adequate for pasta for four) in small ziplock freezer bags, roll the air out and seal tight. They keep right through the winter.
SECRET (until now, you pests) CREAM OF TOMATO BASIL SOUP
In LARGE soup kettle
1 peck fresh tomatoes, chopped.
2 cups rough chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
Simmer til completely soft. Run through food mill with fine holed disc. Return to kettle and add:
2 quarts tomato juice. I only use freshly made or juice I have previously
canned myself. If using store bought, get the best quality available, preferably boxed, not canned.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 TB Worchestershire sauce
2 TB salt
1 cup sweet sherry or port- best quality.
1/4 cup FINE chop (fine,fine,fine) fresh basil
Bring to boil. Funnel into hot sterile (dishwasher high heat) pint size canning jars.
Wipe edges clean. Seal with hot, sterile lids and rings. Work fast, always keeping everything as hot as you can handle. (It takes care to keep the soup almost boiling but not burning on bottom once you start canning process. Reheating is preferable to burning.) Invert jars on rack for 15 minutes, turn upright and wait for pop! This stores on the shelf right on up to the End of Days but we cut
through 30 pints by March. This recipe can be easily doubled.
To serve: Add I cup cream to pint of soup and heat just to simmer, stirring constantly. Top with baguette crouton and finest Parmesean Reggiano and a fresh basil leaf. Makes 4 3/4 cup servings
This recipe makes a nice hostess or holiday gift, esp. when you give it with a nice chunk of very good parmesean cheese and a bottle of J Lohr Arroyo Seco Chardonnay, 2003.
Excuse me. I have to get back to my tomatoes.