Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garden on the Deck: Basil Harvest & Lemon Basil Pesto

Genovese Basil, taken 7/3/09
Our basil plants in the garden have done rather well (4 Genovese basil, above, and lemon basil, thai basil, and red basil, being harvested below). Sadly, the lime basil wasn't fit enough to survive). But, we've been delaying the basil harvest-- don't do it! -- and almost all of the plants had started to flower. Since then, I've trimmed back the plants and seen more growth in the Genovese basil. I'd love to have another harvest...We combined the Genovese basil with Lemon Basil for one pesto (see below for the mix) and will combine Genovese and Thai for the next batch.
These little Tupperware containers make freezing pesto easy, but we ate this Lemon Basil Pesto within the week (recipe is the regular basil pesto recipe from Joy of Cooking).
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (we use less)
---Process the above, into a rough paste in the food processor. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until you have a thick paste. Add more oil if it seems dry.
---Season with salt & ground black pepper, to taste. Use immediately or add a thin layer of olive oil on top (to avoid browning) and store in refrigerator for 1 week (or freeze).