Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Backyard Basil

One of my favorite things that I've been "cultivating" over the last several weeks is my basil plant. It's out of control, I tell you! As a general rule, I prefer plants that thrive on neglect, and this little basil fits the bill. I bought it for a mere $2.50 at the grocery store and it's been providing ample amounts of healthy basil leaves to my heart's content all summer. Like manna from heaven, my basil runneth over.

It's a real thrill to leave the confines of your kitchen, open your back door, and gather what herbs you need for a recipe from your own back yard. I'm convinced that I'll have a fully functioning herb garden next spring and summer that I won't have to buy (or waste) another herb or spice as long as I live!

So far I have made some scrumptious pesto, topped a tomato and mozzarella pizza, and have mixed it in salads. Any beloved basil recipes from the peanut gallery that anyone would like to share with me? Any suggestions on preserving my precious plant through the winter? Don't be shy, I'll use all the help I can get!

13 comments:

Melissa said...

Chrissy had a monstrous basil plant and I believe in the winter she would just being it in and put it by the window.

I love basil. Particularly my recipes for basil-stuffed scallops or chicken. I also make a grilled chicken parmigiana (instead of the breaded variety) with lots of basil. And don't forget - you can whip up a big batch of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays, then store in freezer bags for fresh pesto once fall arrives. Yum!

Sarah said...

Oh my word, that ice-cube tray bit is the most ingenious thing I've ever heard!

Liz said...

The plant should do just fine being moved indoors and kept near a window for the winter months. While mine is not nearly as plentiful, it weathered the winter on my kitchen window ledge just fine.

Linnea Bergstrom said...

I have a few basil plants myself and i love to use it with the following:

a simple but yummy "side" i like are Frico's...
if you like parmesan cheese, you'll like these

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/parmesan-basil-and-lemon-wafers-frico-recipe/index.html


another simple one is just fresh tomatoes, basil, mozerella and balsamic viniegar

Amylouwho said...

Once again, I am so glad I found your blog - amy butler AND basil!? I think we need to have dinner together - pesto with pasta and discuss the many virtues of AB's designs!

Here is one of our favorites using fresh basil, Pasta Caprese: http://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=4419&iSeason=8

If the link doesn't work just email me and I'll send you a word doc.

Amylouwho said...

I can see that link isn't going to work. . .
email me: amyhwebb AT gmail DOT com

Baba said...

Looks like a lively healthy basil plant. Nice choice for a grocery store find. I usually have no luck with buying plants at a grocery store, so I start from seeds. Happy cooking!

Amy and Andrew said...

Hey! I recognize that pot! Your basil is pretty.

Chris V said...

When freezing pesto, blend only the basil and olive oil together. When it's time to use it, add the garlic and cheese. The garlic will develop a funky taste if frozen for a long time and the cheese contains moisture that is unwanted. Hope that helps!

Alli said...

Maybe you can help us with our basil! It has these like, trunks, at the bottom...so weird...It won't grow leaves down there anymore. Ugh.

Sarah H said...

Good basil! And thanks for checking out MY blog. Do you actually understand Norwegian? I was surprised you commented in such detail.

Jessica said...

I just bring my basil inside and continue to nip off the blossoms throughout the winter. It keeps growing and I stay happy with fresh basil at my finger tips. I just leave it on a shelf where it can get sun, but doesn't gget too chilly. Either that or freeze in ice cube trays. My favorite way to eat basil up is heating up eggplant and tomatoes in a skillet and then adding basil leaves and serving over pasta...yummm!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came here via quilt blog.

You're mentioning the peanut gallery made think of peanuts and basil - which are a big part of Vietnamese cooking. I don't know any recipes. But you might check it out on-line.