Late summer and early autumn is a fantastic time for discerning cooks. However there is a saying in the veg trade that bean time is lean time; the suggestion being that when french and runner beans are cropping (mainly August and September) there will be gluts of everything, prices will be on the floor, and all the growers and barrow boys will struggle to sell the abundance of veg available.
The saying has lost some relevance now that beans are airfreighted in from Kenya twelve months of the year and supermarket buyers have insured that all year is lean time for most growers, but as we start picking the first of our bean crop this week, we do have one or two insipient gluts.
I think a finger must have slipped on the calculator keys back in the winter when we worked out how much basil to grow because we are buried in the stuff. This is the time to make homemade pesto. To serve about twelve all you need is olive oil, 100g pine nuts, 150g parmesan, garlic, a food processor and a 200g bag of basil ordered from our extras list for a staggeringly reasonable