Last spring, while researching locavore backpacking strategies (one tip: Hit up the farmers' market for everything from plums to local prosciutto), I ran across the excellent Sourdough Monkey Wrangler blog. Said Wrangler ruminates on, among other things, bringing gourmet style to backpacking meals with fresh, straight-from-the-backyard ingredients.
I convinced the Monkey Man to share one of his favorite sauces: a homemade pesto that's perfect on pasta, crackers, tortillas, bread...the sky's the limit. Mr. Sourdough even puts a dollop in rice dishes, uses it as a pizza sauce, and adds some to the pan when frying up a trout. Whip this up at home, pack it in a four- or eight-ounce plastic container with a screw-on top, freeze it until hiking time, and let your imagination be your guide.
San Franciso Bay Pesto
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons nuts (try walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts)
Juice of half of a lemon
About 1 tablespoon olive oil (add more until ingredients blend smoothly)
At home: Combine all ingredients, mixing until a sauce forms.
At camp: If desired, grate a hard cheese (such as Parmesan or Romano) over the pesto before serving.
Image credit: Sourdough Monkey Wrangler