When I lived in London, I was able to grow the following on a fifth-story balcony: blueberries, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, thyme and rosemary. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I had a 10′ x 12′ garden full of everything from corn to potatoes to zucchini. In my “backyard” in Laguna Beach? I can barely grow anything. I’m not sure why Laguna Beach has turned by green thumb brown, but I’m not happy.
But there’s one thing that grows like crazy in the back—chives.
The rosemary does well, but then again that will grow anywhere. The chives I just let grow until they produce beautiful delicate white flowers and then go to seed. They quickly dry and I scatter the seeds around in the different pots I have out back, and soon enough, like magic, more chives grow in vibrant green bunches.
The only problem is that I don’t use the chives enough. Really, they’re just sitting out there, ignored and unloved. Actually, The Husband loves chives, so I should use them more. So I finally did what any intelligent person would do when they have an abundance of herbs: Make pesto.
And man, did it turn out good! So well that we’ll be using it to season our roast chicken tonight. But earlier this week The Husband cooked up some pasta for the pesto while I was out at my bi-monthly book club meeting. He added some crispy prosciutto to his serving, while mine was perfect as-is.
I added a some spinach to the pesto in case the chives were a bit too much, and it did mellow the chive flavor perfectly. I’m very happy with this concoction—let me know what you think if you make it.
(P.S. totally forgot the pine nuts in the first draft. Apologies!)
Chive and Spinach Pesto
1/3 cup roughly chopped chives
1/4 cup baby spinach
3 Tbs finely grated pecorino romano cheese (or nutritional yeast for vegans)
2 peeled cloves of garlic
2 oz. toasted pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sea salt
Put everything in a mini food processor and drizzle about 3 Tbs of olive oil on top. Process for about 45 seconds. Add another 2 Tbs of olive oil and process again for 30 seconds. Add more olive oil if you like your pesto looser; I like mine pretty thick. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
This stores well in the fridge for at least a week in an airtight container.
Here’s some other pics I took while in the back yard: