Fragrant harvest

For years, my husband and I have trekked down to the supermarket during the summer in search of fresh herbs. Usually we come home with a few sad stalks of droopy leaves encased in plastic—which is why the fresh basil and dill from the garden this year seems so extraordinary. Every time we perk up a salad, stir fry, or pasta sauce with our own fresh herbs, my husband exclaims that he can hardly believe we grew these on our stoop. The flavors just seem so much more alive.

Soon-to-be pesto

But nothing wows me like pesto I made with basil, dill and flat-leaf parsley, when they were all growing like crazy. I chopped them down and tossed them all into the food processor, along with pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, olive oil, and—secret ingredient alert—sun-dried tomatoes. The result is amazing. I may be biased, but this is the tastiest, most zingy pesto I’ve ever eaten. As I scraped the sides of the food processor, I couldn’t helping thinking, “This is grown-up cookie dough—stuff so good, you can eat it right out of the bowl” (and with no fear of salmonella, as with actual raw cookie dough!). Three batches later, the whole house smelled spectacular.

I am tempted to set up a blindfolded taste test for my husband—my pesto against the bottled stuff from the store. But why bother? I already know which one will win. Hands down.

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