I am having an awesome time this summer with my container garden. We are growing our usual favorites like Basil and Cucumbers. This year we tried our hand at tomatoes and some flowers (zinnias) I am very pleased with the results. Since I know that I love basil I decided to grow a LOT of it. It is my absolute most favorite thing to grow because you can do a lot of things with it.
Here 4 Great Ways To Use Fresh Basil
1. Use it raw, freshly harvested to infuse water by simply adding it to ice cold water.
2. Dry it to make flakes or use it raw in recipes for things like soup, baked chicken and broths.
3. Boil it to make a scented fragrance that will fill your home. It smells so fragrant and beautiful!
4. My favorite thing to make though is Pesto. Pesto is a wonderful blend of fresh basil leaves, olive oil, walnuts and garlic. You make it in your food processor. Here is how I make mine.
Recipe #1 Pesto
2 – cups of clean & stemmed basil leaves
1 – teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Directions: Put basil, garlic and walnuts in a food processor and pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Add Salt & Pepper to taste
*You will notice that I left the Parmesan Cheese out of this recipe, that’s because it doesn’t freeze well. Keep reading.
It should look like this when its done
Once the Pesto is complete you can use it immediately. It can be spread on crusty bread. You can use it to coat and bake chicken or fish. Add it to gumbo, stews and soups, etc. The uses are really endless. You can even freeze it to be used later which is what I did! Since I grew a lot of basil I made a LOT of pesto and froze it for use in the winter.
Recipe #2 Pesto Bars
Simply fill up an ice tray or mold with the pesto and put in the freezer. I used this red soap mold to make my bars. I filled each section with pesto and placed in the freezer. Once they were frozen solid I popped them out of the tray and directly into an air tight freezer bag.
Recipe #3 Pesto & Pasta
2 – Pesto Bars
1 – 16 oz box of Penne Pasta
1 – can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Directions: Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Once it is done add Pesto Bars and the diced tomatoes. They will blend right in with a little stirring. (Depending on how much olive oil you added to the bars when you made them you may need to add a little more. Its according to taste) Once the Pesto bars & tomatoes are completely blended into the pasta add the Parmesan cheese and toss.
Serve with some crusty bread, baked chicken, a salad. The choice is yours. Its yummy.
So there you have it. 4 things you can do with fresh basil and 3 recipes. Hope you like it. Hope you try it. If you do please be sure to come back and let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear about it or anything that you are making from things in your garden!
What delicious dishes are you making from things you are growing in your garden?