Gardening, Yummy Recipes

My ‘Patio Pesto’ Empire

The Park City Honey Co. (PCHC) started this summer off with a big bang at the local farmers markets! We are a different kind of company by supporting local at-risk youth from Bridgeport – only! They are girls ages 16 to 30 years of age and we teach them all about food production, prep and service in my cafe at 130 John Street in Bridgeport, CT.

Not only do they help make the food, we sit down and plan menus together. But this summer is different. This summer I secured a tent in local farmers markets to sell food that they make in the cafe. This is not only an income earning opportunity for the cafe and my company, PCHC, but for them as well. They not only get their hourly wages but earn 20% commission on all goods sold. WOW! Yes, 20% commission – who does that any more? Well, WE DO! It provides incentive, learning new techniques in the kitchen and most of all self confidence in their cooking and sales abilities.

I became a Beekeeper about 5 years ago on a dare. It was a great risk I took and now it has changed my life completely. Not only am I aware and very in tune with their green environment, I have been growing my own vegetables and herbs out of necessity offering my bees a variety of plants to pollinate – especially Basil. And I love basil! I love it on everything. And I love Pesto!

A few weeks ago in preparation of these markets I decided to make Pesto from the plants I grow on my patio. Well, why not? They are fresher than fresh, have not been sprayed with any chemicals and have all the sun and water they need to thrive! So I picked them almost clean, leaving all of the smaller to medium leaves to generate new leaves for the upcoming weeks. My leaves only yielded about 6 of 6oz pots for the market to sell. I was hoping and praying customers would like it so it could go in our fridge at the cafe for sale.

Well, wouldn’t you know it – we sold the 6 pots in less than an hour! Now this Pesto is special. It’s a little spicy from the freshness of the fresh picked leaves and has very little salt. It tastes very natural and healthy. Sooooo…we sold out for the Saturday market, now, what to do for Sunday’s market? I drove to the nearest nursery and bought 18 more plants, pots and 4 bags of organic soil. I was snickering all the way to the register waiting for anyone to ask me what I was up to! Who the hell buys this much basil?!!! I do! I saw the opportunity to make a fresh product our customers would enjoy so I took that ball and ran with it.

Soooo…my little Patio Pesto(c) Empire was born. I picked the new leaves off and made 10 pots for Sunday’s market – ALL SOLD IN 2 HOURS! WOW!!!!

Our girls were over the moon with sales which has inspired them to make their very own fresh products for the markets and the cafe. It’s a glorious feeling when you bring good food for a good cause to the table for your family and friends to enjoy.

Make it today and let us know what it tastes like to you!

Patio Pesto Recipe:

2 cups Fresh Basil

1/3 cup Pine Nuts

1/2 Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

2-3 Cloves of Garlic (to taste)

1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt (to taste)

1/4 Tsp of Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)

1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In food processor, place basil and pine nuts together. Pulse until chopped. Wipe down sides and add the remaining ingredients, chop on High for 30 seconds to a minute. Ready to serve.

Please comment with your thoughts! Would love to hear form you! Or visit us at The Park City Honey Co. Cafe at 130 John Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604. 203-333-3353.





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