Pesto

Perfect pesto!  It goes on anything.

I hate to admit it, but I sometimes hate harvesting my garden.   Like a few months ago when I finally pulled out my lettuce that was starting to bolt.  All it did was leave a large area of unproductive ground.  It looked like a scab on an otherwise unblemished face.  I love the neat, perfect little rows and sometimes harvesting ruins my aesthetic perspective.  Silly I know, but still it’s hard for me:)  Well yesterday I did it!  I harvested a lot of my basil and then proceeded to make pesto sauce.  I trimmed up those basil plants neatly.  Kind of like a really good haircut.  The kind that you don’t notice a significant change, and everything still looks real nice.  My mother-in-law told me that that is the sign of a very fine haircut.  I believe her.

So the basil in the garden is still beautiful, but I now have a very large stash of homemade pesto sauce.  It is so stinking pretty.  The most beautiful color green.  It totally matches my kitchen, and the walls at the bakery.  I must have a thing for Pesto Green.  What to do with all that pesto you may ask.  We use a lot of it at our house.  I stir it into the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture in lasagna.  We use it as the sauce for our homemade pizza’s, and the best purpose for pesto sauce of all is to make a Swede Turkey Pesto sandwich at home.

The Swede Turkey Pesto, or STP for short is the number one selling sandwich at the bakery.  It probably out sells the other sandwiches 2 to 1.  If you haven’t had one I’ll give you the secret recipe now so you can make them at home.

Don’t you love this pic.  My brother-in-law Doug does all the photos for us at the bakery.  This poster is a huge hit!

Swede Turkey Pesto Sandwich
courtesy of Great Harvest Bread Logan, UT
and my sister Hollie who helped me come up with this sandwich:)
Great Harvest Asiago Sourdough Bread
Mayo
Spicy Brown Mustard
Pesto Sauce
Good Deli Turkey
Swiss Cheese
Leaf Lettuce
Red Onion 
Tomato
Balsamic Salad Dressing
Ta-Da!!  That’s it!  We take the bread and squirt on the mayo, mustard, and a smear of pesto sauce.  Add the turkey and cheese and grill.  We use a George Foreman grill.  We like how it does the job, but a fry pan, or griddle will work too.  When the sandwich is sufficiently toasty, add the veggies, and then drizzle the sandwich with the balsamic dressing.  I actually like to dip so do as you please.
Just so you know who Swede is, he’s my cousin and was a baker for us for quite a few years.  And you say his name as it is spelled.  It’s a family name on the other side, but when we made the sandwich we needed a catchy name, and Swede was so unique, and interesting the rest is history.   The sandwich is so famous that one semester Swede was sitting in a class the first day, and the teacher was reading down the role.  When she got to Swede’s name she said it, he responded with, “Here!” and then she stopped.  She then went on to ask if Swede just happened to have a sandwich named after him at Great Harvest?  Of course he did and I don’t think Swede had to do a single assignment in that class that semester.  He just got an A for being “the Man”.        
To make the pesto it is quite simple as well.  If you’ve got a lot of basil in your garden, put it to good use.  If not, go buy some and make yourself a Swede!
Pesto Sauce
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A food processor or blender
 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  I poured my pesto into cute bottles and then poured enough EVOO on top to cover it.  The pesto will discolor quickly if exposed to air.  I freeze mine.  It will last forever.  One tip I learned was to portion the pesto in ice cube trays, and then freeze the cubes.  When frozen place in Ziploc bags and use when needed.  

Comments

  1. says

    Mmmmmm. Love pesto. And I love that my kids love it too!

    I never knew how long it would last frozen until this year. We always ran out of our supply by January or February. But last year I made tons and tons and we have been enjoying it all year long.

  2. says

    We are pesto lovers at the Philpot household and of Swede’s Sandwich too! We had it last night as sauce on our zucchini pizza. It is the best if you toss your squeezed shredded zucchini with a really good shredded cheese, parmeasan, and bread crumbs. Then the zucchini doesn’t get soggy and has the perfect texture and taste with the pesto.

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