I have never had much luck with growing basil plants before - they would start out looking really good and within a few weeks, turn scraggly and sad. Something happened this year 'though - or maybe they just like the quick-draining soil we have in our front garden. At any rate, I have 5 different varieties of basil, all growing happily next to some rose bushes. In fact, they are sort of taking over the flower bed.
The most vigorous plant is a classic Genovese basil but the Thai, Lemon and Fino Verde plants are all doing well too. One that's new to me is the Aromatto, which has purple leaves and is quite spicy. It maybe had a bit too much spice for the first batch of pesto I made but I think it would be great with Mexican dishes.
- 3 cups of packed, fresh basil leaves
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ¾ cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano
- ½ cup of EV Olive Oil
- ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
- Salt (to taste) after blending the ingredients above
Using it up....
Pesto is great on pasta (gluten-free, natch) of course, but I also love a teaspoon of it swirled into scrambled eggs and spooned, sparingly, onto fresh veggies, such as green beans. Heaven!
Here is a link below to a witty, marvelous cookery writer, Rachel Kelly, with The Guardian and some great tips and recipes to use up all of that lovely basil. In fact, I know that I have a box of frozen puff pastry somewhere in the freezer, so I am going to make her basil pinwheels this weekend.