Brussels in the summer. You simply never know what you’ll get next. First, we are digging out our scarves, winter sweaters, and boots. Preparing warming soup. Then, temperatues soar to unexpected highs and all I can think of is staying as still as possible to conserve my energy and whatever is left of my cool.
Needless to say such temperatures play havoc with ones health/ body. Sore throat, sunburn? Got them both. At once. Yet something very strange happened to our garden. Seems that alternating rain and sun does wonder to our herbs. Our sage went completely mad. I am not joking. We have (almost) a sage bush, if there is one. I catch myself in the supermarket trying to bring back from the depths of my brain any recipe I know using sage: chicken and sage? pork and sage? sage ice cream? anything sage?
Having already tried the more classic combinations, I started to think: what stops me from adapting another classic recipe? Let me ask you: why and when did I start associating pesto with basil and basil only. Pesto refers to the sauce, and the ingredients are (or should be) entirely up to … well, me. Ask me though what I think of when I hear “pesto” and 9 out of 10 it will probably be basil pesto.
Time that changed. With sage on hand I decided to make my very own sage pesto. Choosing the best leaves, I laid out the ingredients: garlic, olive oil (might I add, own production?), pine nuts, and parmesan.
With the help of our food processor (that machine has probably not only revolutionized my cooking life, but improved it 100x over!) all ingredients got pulsed into what looked like pesto. Remember though that pesto is purely a work of (love?) taste. My first attempt, probably not taking into account the already natural bitterness of sage, was … very bitter! A strong herb and a strong cheese do not mix that well. Let me tell you that.
I added more sage, more olive oil , more pine nuts, pulsed again, tasted again, adjusted and finally the sage pesto was ready. An acquired taste at first. But the adventure did not stop here. Some orechette just waiting to be eaten. Al dente. A good measure of sage pesto. Freshly grated parmesan on top. An absolute delight. Not only a tasty and different take on pasta and pesto, but also a very gratifying dish. Our very own sage harvest. Our very own sage pesto. Talk about sustainability.
Any suggestions what to do with the rest of the sage?