basil basil basil

Basil!
Today Will harvested our basil. Not that we hadn't already been dipping into the basil every day, but this was incredible! After I set aside the beautiful lettuce leaf basil... (see the photo of it posing beside a couple of eggs!) ... I still had enough basil to make 10 batches of pesto for the freezer. We are basil nuts (totally different from Brazil nuts), so this is wonderful.
Already thinking about pesto crusted salmon, chicken roasted with pesto under the skin and many other wonderful ways to use this sauce.
I have included a couple basil ideas for you here... my basic pesto which can be jazzed up with toasted pine nuts or walnuts, and a wrap idea for the lettuce leaf basil. Enjoy!

Basic Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 cup very very good olive oil
1 cup very very good hard cheese. This year I used Grana Padano Parmesan. Can also use soy parmesan
Blend the basil & garlic in a blender until pretty fine. With the blender running, add the olive oil slowly. Blend a minute or two and add the cheese. Blend a minute. If you are going to add pine nuts, toast about 3 tbsps of pine nuts and add them now. Blend until nicely broken up.
I put this into freezer bags and flatten on a shelf in the freezer. When it is frozen you can then break off chunks of appropriate size to the dish you are making.

Lettuce-Leaf Basil Wraps

The lettuce-leaf basil is a more delicate taste than other kinds of basil, and the leaves can get just huge! We were so excited to have this treat that we phoned a couple friends to experience the fun with us. We picked a dozen or so stems of Lettuce-leaf basil and put them in the middle of the table in a vase so people could pick off the leaves.
Then we put out a selection of hot and cold foods to stuff the leaves, and sauces for topping. Fabulous!

stuffings including but not limited to:
  • cooked rice
  • quinoa salad
  • left-over curry
  • chopped veggies
  • sunomo salad
  • scrambled eggs
sauces including but not limited to:
We just put the stuffings out on the table in bowls, supplied the guests with a side plate for rolling the food into the huge basil leaves, and then mixed and matched sauces and dishes. A delicious time was had by all!

We got these lettuce-leaf basil seeds from West Coast Seeds.

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