This weekend I decided to take a trek out to the rooftop farm that everyone is talking about. (Yes, even though it's probably the most local my food could get without stealing from a neighbor's tomato patch, it's still all the way across Brooklyn, in Greenpoint, so it qualifies as a trek.) The farm runs a produce stand every Sunday, located in a dim little office on one of the upper levels of the warehouse building under the farm. The stand currently has a small selection of herbs, greens, peppers, and a lot of nasturtiums. The best part was definitely the chance to climb up and see the garden itself — surprisingly small, but packed to the gills with flourishing plants (and camera crews).

I picked up some chard, and together with some wild purslane from the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, I made a "rustic" pesto of sorts — without a food processor or blender, I simply minced the greens with olive oil and salt. It was nowhere near as pretty as a real pesto sauce, and it tended to stick to the bowl much better than the pasta, but it was full of fresh green flavors.

Thank you for sharing your meal - and the rooftop garden! I have been reading more and more about them, and it is a fabulous idea. Some schools are doing this too, and they seem to make a huge difference in the learning and mindset of the students towards science and eating.
The "rustic pesto" - well, with all those fresh green flavors, how can it go wrong? And easy too.

I have been so interested in trying purslane lately. I'll have to go to Grand Army Plaza and get some myself. As for the rustic pesto--this was just something I was looking into. I had to buy a ton of basil just to get a handful of leaves and now I don't want to waste it--but I don't have a food processor. I was thinking of trying the mortar and pestle. I mean, Italian ladies must have made pesto before the cuisinart existed!

I love the internet--ask and ye shall receive. Here is "How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother:"
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001570.html

And if you scroll down this article, here is a mortar and pestle method:
http://www.seattlepi.com/food/155565_pesto.html

Sorry to clutter up your blog with links!

April

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