Produce * (Local + Organic + Farmers + Market) = Expensive.

I’m on a strict budget for the next few months (years) while I pay off some student loans and save for graduate school.  Obviously, the above equation is a challenge to my somewhat thrifty ways.  But I’m a typical white person so I love farmers markets (side note: not only did I bike to the market, I also brought my canvas bag).  This Sunday I went to the Dupont Farmers Market with a list and did my absolute best to stick to it (one slight deviation – ripe peaches).  Delicious.  The cost?  $3 for two peaches!

Anyway – here are the more economical and better purchases:

1)    Fresh Basil – $3
2)    Two pounds of heirloom tomatoes – $7


I used the following recipe to make some fresh pesto.  It’s an incredibly easy recipe to make and I think there will be enough pesto for about 4 pounds of pasta.  I’ll keep some in the fridge for the next few days and then the rest will go into the freezer.

–    2 cups of basil (loosely packed)
–    2 tablespoons of roasted pine nuts
–    ½ cup of olive oil
–    Salt
–    ½ to 2 cloves of garlic

Put pesto, pine nuts, salt, garlic and half of the olive oil in a food processor.  Process for about 5 – 10 seconds then add more oil and push the pesto down the sides of the processor.  Pour in the rest of the oil, process again for 10 seconds.  Taste for salt etc.  If needed add more oil.

The bunch of basil I bought today had about 9 cups of basil, so I was able to make about 4 batches of pesto.

Three Notes:

It’s tough to fit more than 2 cups in a food processor at a time so you’ll just have to be patient.

I used two cloves of garlic for the first batch but that was way too much, so I cut it back to ½ to 1 clove for every 2 cups.

I made dinner on Sunday night and then put the rest into an ice cube tray – the pesto filled 9 out of the 12 spaces. Individual servings!

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3 responses to “Produce * (Local + Organic + Farmers + Market) = Expensive.

  1. There is nothing better than fresh basil pesto. Try adding some Parmesan cheese for an even richer taste. Pesto is also delicious on sliced tomatoes and/or baked salmon.

  2. thriftyepicure

    thanks Lucy! We actually grated fresh parmesan on the pasta right before we served.

    though one of us remembers hearing that you don’t add parmesan to oil-based pasta sauces…I never understood that.

  3. I’m always into discussions on anything organic, so this read made me feel at home.
    I’ll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

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