I LOVE basil and grow plenty of it in my garden. Today I wanted to share this recipe early on in the gardening season (well at least in my area gardening season is just starting) to inspire you to grow some basil in your garden this year. I grow a lot of basil because pesto is one of my families favorites! We make everything from pesto pizza on a sourdough crust, bruschetta on sourdough bread, pesto chicken and on occasion pesto pasta (made with sprouted pasta)! It is so easy to make and freezes beautifully! I freeze my pesto in late summer when my basil is ready for harvest. I simply make this recipe and then freeze my pesto in patties between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper. When I am ready for some pesto, I pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw (it thaws in about 30 minutes). It is so fresh, it taste like I just picked the basil out of my garden! This is how I am able to enjoy fresh pesto all year long!
So just what is basil? Basil is an herb. According to the Wikipedia, Basil, or Sweet Basil, is a common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum (pronounced /ˈbæzɪl/ or, in the US, /ˈbeːzɪl/), of the family Lamiaceae (mints), sometimes known as Saint Joseph’s Wort in some English-speaking countries.
Basil, originally from India, is best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.
Basil is super easy to grow. It will grow in a raised bed, in existing gardens or landscapes, and also in pots. Basil likes the heat! You can water basil less because it likes dryer soil. It requires very little maintenance. When the plant begins to flower (or seed), simple snip or pinch the flowers off to encourage more growth. Basil can be harvested throughout the whole summer. Why not give it a try this year? Are you up for growing some basil?
Nutrition Info: Calories: 76.2 Fat: 8.0g Carbohydrates: 0.6g Protein: 0.9g
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp raw walnuts or pine nuts
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until well blended.
image credit: http://thecomfortofcooking.com