Greetings, last week welcomed the autumnal equinox. It was followed this past weekend with a lunar eclipse amid a blood red moon. I hope that you got a chance to witness it last Sunday night!
It was such a beautiful (but, as always, too short) summer in New England. It was especially hard to realize that it was over!
I am going to share two recipes in this post. Both are easy and require only a few ingredients. First, a summer pesto recipe, as my basil is still in abundance, but is begging to be picked. The other recipe is for crockpot applesauce. It is easy and delicious, and is the perfect answer to the question of, “what am I going to do with all of these apples?” after you go picking! It will make your kitchen smell wonderful as the apples cook, and you will be hard pressed to ever eat store-bought applesauce from a jar again!
Basil Pistachio Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pistachios, or other nuts such as pine, walnuts, pecans, etc ( I used pistachios b/c that was what I had on hand, and it was delicious!)
2 or 3 med cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon, to retain color
salt and pepper to taste
Combine basil, nuts, in food processor or blender. Pulse a few times. Add garlic, pulse a few times more. Add some lemon juice. Slowly add olive oil in constant stream while blender/food processor is on. Stop to scrape sides with spatula. Add grated cheese and rest of lemon juice. pulse again until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta! Can be frozen for later use.
Crockpot Apple Sauce
8 large apples, such as macintosh, cortland, or a variety of both
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp mace
Peel and chop apples into chunks, place in crockpot with all ingredients. Cook 3 to 4 hours on high, or 5 to 6 hours on low, until apples are tender. Stir occasionally, Puree with immersion blender until smooth. Serve warm or cold. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks in refrigerator. Enjoy!!
BTW – mace is a spice made from the outer, waxy covering of nutmeg seeds. It has a lighter, sweeter flavor. If you do not have mace on hand, you can substitute a little nutmeg instead! (1/8 tsp).