Basil, basil everywhere!

Discussion in 'Herb Gardening' started by marlingardener, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    We have been blessed (?) with an abundance of basil this year. I've frozen it, used it in marinara sauce, and given basil to friends. However, we still have more basil than we can use, so I've been making pesto and freezing it. Here's the easy recipe:

    1 c. finely chopped basil leaves
    1/2 c. olive oil
    3/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
    2 finely chopped garlic cloves (about 1/2 tsp.)
    2 tblsps. finely chopped nuts (I use pecans, and walnuts can be used, also. The traditional recipe calls for pine nuts, but they are too expensive around here).

    You will notice there is not salt added. The parmesan cheese is salty enough, so no more is needed.
    Put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and make a paste. Put in small containers and freeze.
    This is great thinly spread on toasted Italian bread, as a sauce on pasta, or as a dip for raw vegetables.
     
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  3. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    looks good, Jane. I have African Blue Basil growing like a weed in my front yard garden. it has laughed through the drought we have had all Summer, but you sure don't want to eat it. the bees love it, though.
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Carolyn, we have Genovese Italian basil. We grew the blue one year, decided it was rather invasive, and didn't plant it again. We have found that the lemon basil is interesting, but haven't found a lot of culinary uses for it.
     
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  5. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    lemon basil is a wonderful substitute for cilantro.
     
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  6. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Carolyn, only if you like cilantro!:):)
     
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  7. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Jane, that is the beauty of lemon basil. for those who don't like cilantro it is the perfect substitute. it doesn't have the dishsoapy taste. I have grown lime basil, too. another great sub for cilantro. and for those who like cilantro knows you can't grow it when it is hot and dry but basil goes to town.
     
  8. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    I grew lime basil this year for the first time & have really enjoyed its spicy flavor.
     
  9. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    You two are enablers to the nth degree! Next season I'll have some lemon and some lime basil, and probably be pestering you both for ideas to use the new-to-me basils.
     
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  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    doing my best. hope you enjoy it. maybe I could send you some seeds?
     
  11. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Lucky you! I LOVE fresh basil, and our summer was much too wet and cool for a good basil crop.
     
  12. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    the bees love basil too. I have a great picture on my phone but I don't seem to be able to resize it to upload it. it is on the blue basil.... maybe you would have space for seeds of them too for the bees. not to use it for eating. it is waaay too sharp of a taste.
     
  13. Odif

    Odif In Flower

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    Me too, I have so much basil. I planted large leaf and Italian basil, I picked some the other day and put them in a glass of water. They are all rooting. I now know basil grows really easilly from cuttings.

    We made about 30 little jars of pesto this year, after lots of experimentation, we decided that the best substitute for pine nuts is cashew nuts. We also froze lots, some straight leaves, or just mixed with olive oil. The Basil mixed with olive oil was frozen in the ice cube tray and then the frozen cubes were put in a sack afterwards. We also made some pesto to freeze, leaving out the parmesan because I read on the internet that you must freeze it without the cheese for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  14. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Odif, I did not know basil could be rooted in water.
     
  15. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Cayuga, not only basil can be rooted in water, but also oregano. I have a large pot of Greek oregano that I'm not sure will make it through the winter in the barn, so I'm rooting a half-dozen cuttings in water on the kitchen window sill.

    Odif, I freeze pesto with the parmesan in it. I've done this for several years, and there is no problem, no change in flavor or color. I do use finely ground pecans as the nut component since we have lots of pecans here, but no pine nuts or walnuts.
    The cubes of frozen basil are so useful in sauces and salad dressings!
     
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  16. Odif

    Odif In Flower

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    Thanks Marlin, that answers my question about freezing pesto. We have pinenut trees growing in our region, I collected some the other day.
     

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