The Taste of Golden Sunlight

If only we could capture these gorgeous golden evenings to bring out in the throes of winter. 

Recently, we were playing in the kitchen with summer squash blossoms. You know, those sweet, delicate flowers with lovely, soft, light and airy petals, whose paper thin yellow flower shyly unfurls.

Much like tonight’s golden sunset brightly unfurling, peeking out of a cloud.

As the sun sets, a glimpse of the summer garden catches the eye, “I need to clean the garden up soon” I sigh.

Then the night’s golden hour glimmers again now a deeper hue.

And the tired squash seem to wave.

Humm, maybe…maybe there are a few leftover squash blossoms!  Oh, yes, suddenly the work of clearing out the summer garden brings forth a lovely bunch of these beauties: summer squash blossoms

Now the question looms, how to save the taste of a golden summer sunset?

Well, each fall we harvest all the basil before the frost and preserve it by freezing it with enough lemon juice to keep it bright. Could we do the same with squash blossoms? Behold,

Golden Sunlight Pesto

3 Tbl. pine nuts                                   1 Tb. very hot water

A pinch of saffron threads                   ½ cup light flavored olive oil (Enzo)

2 cups loosely packed squash blossoms, about 12 blooms

Pinch of salt                                        2 small lemons, juiced

In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pine nuts until they start smell nutty and are lightly golden. Watch them carefully so they do not get dark brown or burn. Transfer to a kitchen towel and set aside to cool.

Steep the saffron in a small bowl using the hot water; set aside. saffron

Add the cooled toasty nuts into the food processor and pulse until ground.

Pinch off any hard stems or green leaves at the base of the blossoms; lightly pull the blossoms apart dropping the blossoms in; pulse to break them up.

Now, turn the machine on, and drizzle the olive oil in slowly. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

When all the oil is incorporated, add a pinch of salt to taste. Best to be light handed on the salt as later you will add fresh grated Parmigiano cheese, which is salty.

Finally, add the saffron with its water and the squeezed lemon juice giving it a last whirl.

Grab a small rimmed pan or cookie sheet, cover with wax paper leaving a long tail the same length as the pan.  Now, scrape out the pesto onto the pan. Place the pan into the freezer. photo (46)

When frozen lift out of the pan, wrap the tail around and then slip this into a Ziploc bag.

In the dead of winter pull out the bag and defrost the precious taste of summer’s golden sunset to use in something wonderful.

We have used it to make a lovely mac n cheese, and even spread it on toast. This is the time to add the fresh grated Parmigiano cheese. Enjoy!

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