Saturday 22 September
Though the weather has been warm, we were alert to the fact that a sudden chill might crisp our cherished basil plants. So the grand pesto factory whizzed into action.
But to keep body and soul together while we labored in our various fields (one more mosquito-ridden than the other), we whipped up a batch of salmon paté according to Gordon Ramsay's tips, though he does his with smoked trout.
1 6-oz. jar of Taku smoked Sockeye salmon (thanks, Andi, Joel, and Alaska!)
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp cream-style horseradish
a squeeze of lemon juice
small handful of fresh dill
Put all ingredients into food processor and pulse until well mixed but still coarse. Season to taste with white pepper.
You can put this in individual ramekins topped with sprigs of dill as Gordon does, or pack it into a bowl and scrape it onto Town house crackers, as we do.
Thus strengthened, Barbara plucked four saladspinners full of basil leaves directly from the plants, leaving the stems and very top small leaves to resprout if the weather allowed, while Holt grated up a mess of pecorino romano, a clove of garlic per saladspinnerful, and appropriate amounts of walnuts, pine nuts, and olive oil, as is our seat-of-the-pants way.
It made enough pesto to fill two ice cube trays, one jar for us and one as a gift, plus enough to sauce a 2-egg serving of fresh fettucine, which Holt accordingly made; and a fresh green dinner it was too.