We got our first tingly taste of wintertime’s chill this week.
Truly, the weather seems to be having an identity crisis. On Thursday, Cholula and I revisited Mormon Flat and relished the crazy-vibrant colors of autumn in Park City. We saw not one other person, but Cholula chased chipmunks and quail across the trail and the elk were screeching their mating calls in the distance. THIS is fall.
By Thursday night, the clouds that had hovered all day finally opened up and a few raindrops turned to slush. Friday morning offered an early preview of the next six months: at least 4 or 5 inches of heavy snow had fallen overnight, blanketing the yard. When the first snow comes early in Utah, it’s stunningly gorgeous. The oranges and reds of the scrub oak and the golden aspens are somehow even more colorful when set against the sparkling white backdrop of snow. I ignored my desire to gaze at the beauty outside from the warmth of my bed all morning and instead got out in it.
I stomped my way up the back hill to see the view over the house. Too early or not, the snow was beautiful. My big beautiful surprise sunflowers were hunched over, as if trying to warm up. I felt grateful that John had harvested the last of the herbs from the garden the day before- lots of thyme for drying, and a ton of chives.
What does one do with a whole healthy chive plant? I didn’t want it to go to waste- this was the last fruit of our garden labor! Nancy suggested a pesto, and Pinterest confirmed that chive pesto is actually a thing. I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I cleaned the chives, pulled some Italian parsley (from the plant I’d already moved indoors), and got to work.
The food processor does ALL of the work here. Just like a traditional basil pesto, I pureed the chives, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. I streamed olive oil into the top until the consistency was right, then added plenty of salt and pepper. The pesto was pretty CHIVE-y (no surprise), so I added a few basil leaves, more cheese and oil, lots of lemon juice, and blended it again. Yum!
John grilled a beautiful piece of salmon while I spooned most of the chive pesto into an ice cube tray for freezing. I covered each cube with a thin layer of olive oil and popped the trays in the freezer overnight.
The pesto was fantastic over the salmon! The flavors of chive and garlic are bold. As with anything strongly flavored (ahem), I was glad that John was eating it, too. (Translation: Don’t make this for a first date.)
In the morning, the sun was shining. It was a glorious day! I know the snow won’t last- not this early.
But our chives will.
How do you use up the last of your garden’s harvest?
Chive Pesto (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)
- ½ cup packed chopped fresh chives
- ½ cup packed chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- A few fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
In a food processor, combine chives, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and basil leaves. Pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust chivey-ness by adding more lemon, cheese, or oil. Serve over pasta or fish, and be sure your significant other eats some, too, before you try to kiss him. YUM!
**Check out the full list of my adventures in the kitchen, on the FOOD BLISS link above!**