Feel the basil

Illustration By Mark Stivers

My basil was knee high, so I whirled it up into some vibrant pesto with toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, lots of olive oil and not too much garlic. (Alas, my cheap, old blender started giving off a burnt-rubber aroma halfway through, so the pesto ended up in the food processor, and I Coinstar-ed my change jar to get a shiny, new Waring blender.) The pesto chilling in the freezer still left me with a garden full of herbs, chiefly some productive sage. That sage is indestructible; it has survived transplanting from pots at three different apartments and now flourishes, silvery and aromatic, in the ground. But what to do with it? Sage-almond pesto, that’s what. I threw almonds and lemon zest and garlic and lots of black pepper in the food processor and then a huge amount of briefly blanched sage leaves, along with tons of olive oil. The herbaceous, pale-jade colored sauce goes beautifully with lamb chops, and a frozen jar of it awaits Thanksgiving turkey.