Basil is a popular herb. I call it beautiful basil because I love the vibrant leaf colour and delicate flowers. Even if you don’t like the taste of basil, grow some in your garden. Create a pollinator restaurant! If you do like basil’s flavour, then is it awesome having a few plants in your garden so you can pick it fresh. Here are some beautiful basil recipes.
Basil as the Star
Pesto has to be the most well known Basil recipe. It is simple to make and a great tasty way to use Basil.
The basic ingredients of pesto are
- Pine Nuts
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
Here are my quantities for Pesto
- 2 cups of basil leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 small cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
Tip – No pine nuts? Use cashews or macadamia nuts instead.
Bring It Together
Toast pine nuts in a fry pan. Put these in a bowl to cool.
Put basil leaves, cheese, oil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor.
Blitz until combined. You will need a few minutes of blitzing to bring it all together.
Tip – To store any left over pesto, pop in a jar and store in the fridge. Cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil. This will stop the pesto from going brown on top.
What does pesto go well with?
My daughter got me eating Pesto Chicken Pasta again. It is one of her favourite dishes. It is a quick dinner time meal and easy to prepare. Fry some diced chicken with sliced onion. Cook your pasta. Once the two are done, add both to a large bowl and mix the pesto through. If we have some green beans, these will also be added to the dish. We will add crumbled feta to our bowls, the younger kids add more parmesan cheese!
For Christmas Day, my friend bought Chicken Pesto Bacon Fillets. She popped some pesto in a thigh fillet. This was wrapped in bacon. Held together with toothpicks and baked for 35 minutes. Oven temp 180 degrees. She had cooked these the night before and then stored them in the fridge overnight. These were sliced and made a delightful addition to our Christmas lunch table.
Having a pesto dollop alongside salmon, steak, grilled haloumi or roasted veggies is delicious as well. Pesto makes a great dip – I can eat loads of it with carrot sticks and crackers.
Basil’s flavour goes well in many dishes.
One of my fave stir fries is Thai Basil Beef
A simple dish is Marinated Zucchinis. Garnish these beauties with a load of basil.
My go to summer lunch is a plate of sliced Heirloom tomatoes, home made ricotta with basil on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve with crunchy bread. Yum!
Basil Keeps Giving
Basil is super easy to grow from seed. The beauty of basil is that once there are plants in the garden, there will always be seed. How so? Well, let those basil plants flower, watch the pollinators visit for a while. The flowers will drop off and the stem will dry out. What is left…little black seeds.
It can be fiddlely getting those little black seeds out of their pods. A task that is best suited to a day where you have time to slow down and sit somewhere peaceful. If I don’t have that time, I will run my hand down the stem and store those pods.
If you do need to buy seed, Eden Seeds sells 19 different types of basil .
Basil also self sows easily. Because of this I have basil plants pop up in all sorts of places in my garden. For times I have actually sown basil seeds because I would like them in a particular area, this is what I do. Put those seeds in a jar with seed raising mix, shake it up and spread over the area I would like basil to grow in. Water daily until those seeds germinate.
Now over to you. Does basil float your boat? Any basil growing tips or recipes? We would love to hear them. Please feel free to share in the comments below.
Interested in a unusual Basil recipe? Then check out this Strawberry ice cream recipe!