Basil is one of my favourite flavours, especially in the summer when it’s fresh from the garden. I love to enjoy it in my favourite appetizer – with fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Basil has a lovely robust flavour – I find it is best enjoyed with only a few other simple ingredients. There are also a few different ways to preserve it, if your plant is large and you don’t feel you can eat it all before the summer ends. Because basil loves sunlight and heat, so it is often the first plant that suffers once cool weather comes.
Here are my favourite ways to enjoy it:
- Make pesto: blend basil with pine nuts, olive oil, and salt. Use on pasta, pizza, or as a spread on crackers.
- Chopped fresh on top of pasta, with olive oil, fresh tomato, and fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Chop it, place in ice cube trays and pour olive oil on top and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, put into a Ziploc bag and add to pasta sauce or pasta in the dead of winter.
- Dry it, or visit Getty Stewart’s website for other recipe and preservation ideas!
Here is my recipe for simple basil pesto.
- 2 cups basil
- 1/4 -1/2 cup olive oil (depending on how thick you like your pesto)
- 1-1/2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- a generous 1/2 tsp salt
Add all ingredients, except olive oil, to food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds and pour olive oil in a gentle stream. Turn off food processor and scrape down sides at least once, to ensure no large clumps remain.
Add to freshly made pasta and add freshly grated parmesan for best results!