The Herbal Harvest: Basil
It's time to harvest your basil! Hopefully you have been snipping some all summer, but now it's time to get serious. Basil is pretty touchy when it comes to cold temperatures which can dip down into the 40's on September nights.
Here are a few tips:
- Early morning is the best time to harvest for the best flavor.
- Cut back up to half of the plant.
- Keep cuttings in a glass of water if you can't get to them right away.
- There are several ways to preserve basil. One is to freeze it with olive oil in an ice cube tray.
We recently had the two women from Hickory Grove Farm here at Bella Botanica at our Afternoon Herbal Tea event. Marge Koenecke and Beth Malliet shared the following recipe for making pesto with basil and parsley. Following their demonstration, they used the pesto to make Pesto Pizza Rounds which are a super quick hors d'euvre to make. So yummy! Enjoy!
¼ c. pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, or pecans toasted at 350 degrees for 8-10 min
2 cloves garlic
1 c. fresh spinach, packed
1 c. fresh basil, packed
½ c. fresh parsley, packed
½ tsp. salt
½ c. good quality olive oil
¾ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
In food processor, puree nuts, garlic, spinach, basil, parsley, and salt. Add olive oil and blend Add parmesan cheese. Pulse briefly. Do not overblend.
PESTO PIZZA ROUNDS
2 baguettes, sliced ½” thick
½ c. pizza sauce
½ c. parmesan cheese
Lay slices of bread on cookie sheet. Spread a little pizza sauce and a dollop of pesto on each slice of bread. Top with a sprinkle of the remaining ½ c. cheese. Place under broiler about 3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and bread is toasted. Serve hot or at room temperature.
What's your favorite basil recipe, and how do you preserve basil?
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Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!