With cooler Autumn days on the horizon, you may have noticed that your Basil plants are reaching their peak or going to seed. Basil Pesto is a wonderful way to ensure the leaves are turned into a yummy food staple with multiple uses.
Genovese or Sweet Basil Plant
Basil plants are a valuable herb in the garden as they are a perfect companion to tomatoes and other fruiting plants due to their integrated pest management uses and fly repelling properties. They are easy to grow in the right climate and have a long picking season. They are interestingly one of the few herbs that intensifies in flavour when cooked.
Basil and Tomatoes Are Happy Companions
Sweet or Genovese Basil is the most common basil we see in supermarkets and is easy to grow in Spring and Summer months as it loves warm conditions. If you pick the leaves regularly, provide some consistent TLC and live in a frost free area you can keep your annual Basil plant around for a few years.
There are many Basil varieties. Perennial varieties include Greek, Perennial and Holy. Some of the annual varieties are Lemon, Lime, Thai, Sweet and Purple. They are all yummy pesto ingredients.
Basil Pesto Uses
A valuable use for your Basil glut is to make Basil pesto. It can be used as a dip, a condiment to eggs, a spread on bread and to add elevated flavour to pasta, salads, roast veggies, mash or meats.
Basil Pesto is a delicious dip with crackers or veggie sticks
Have a go at making the following tried, tested and what is a very loved recipe in Jo's household. It is based on a Thermomix recipe.
- 1 large Garlic clove
- 40g fresh Basil leaves
- Small handful of fresh Parsley
- 160g Unsalted Cashews
- 80g Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
Place all ingredients into a food processor or bowl and blitz for 5-10 seconds so that you have a rough but evenly chopped mixture. Job done!