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Old 07-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #1
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Lots of Basil

I have a huge amount of fresh basil growing in my garden and need some help. We can only eat so much pesto, and I have 3 containers in my refrigerator. Any suggestions, anyone?

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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Freeze the pesto and make more. Then freeze that too. Pesto freezes well and enables you to enjoy it all year long. I freeze it in meal sized containers.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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pesto freezes very well, so you can put into a portion size container (many people use the ice cube trays too) and freeze them so you can enjoy them during the winter months, without worrying about them spoiling in the fridge. I also make a few different versions, mixed with crushed pistacchi (untreated one, not the salted, red ones!!) or sundried tomatoes, or a simple version just with oil and basils, to be enjoyed just as is, or to be modified as your mood takes when defrosted.

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13 View Post
..mixed with crushed pistacchi (untreated one, not the salted, red ones!!)...

Yes! I prefer the taste of pesto made with pistachios instead of pine nuts.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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Lots of Basil

Thanks guys.
I'll keep on making the pesto. Love the idea of the pistachios. I'll definitely try that.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
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While making & freezing pesto for winter use is wonderful, one can still only use so much pesto. Fresh basil has LOTS of other uses. Here are a few ideas outside of the pesto box:

I layer whole leaves in lasagna & eggplant parmagian. This is particularly nice if you also add a layer of sliced fresh tomatoes in with the dish. And these baked dishes, oven-time notwithstanding, make terrific summer fare because 1) the fresh ingredients are in season now, & 2) you can enjoy some now & freeze the rest in portion sizes to reheat for a quick meal on a warm evening, along with antipasto or a nice big green salad. Fresh basil sliced into "ribbons" is also nice tossed with spaghetti & plain Marinara sauce. Lovely.

I also enjoy whole leaves of basil on top of grilled burgers - particularly if I'm topping those burgers with a nice slice of fresh garden tomato & mozzarella cheese. Also nice on sliced turkey or chicken sandwiches along with mayo & some chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Many Thai stirfry dishes benefit from a small handful sliced basil "ribbons". It doesn't have to be "Thai Basil" - the regular Italian varieties work just as well, & I actually prefer them to Thai Basil since the clove aspect is a bit less pronounced.

A little chopped basil atop a Lobster Roll or Crab Cakes is also nice. Also works in your favorite Chicken or Shrimp Salad recipe. Add to taste.

Whole or sliced basil leaves are a major component to a classic "Caprese Salad" - sliced in-season tomatoes layered with good-quality soft fresh mozzarella cheese. You can add the leaves whole to the layers or slice them into ribbons first. A little sprinkle of good extra-virgin olive oil or a homemade vinegarette & you have something fit for a king. Also nice added to a vinegar-based Italian-style potato salad - potatoes, diced salami, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, diced roasted red peppers, cubed provolone &/or mozzarella cheese, etc., etc. - one of my favorites.

Start thinking outside of the "pesto box" & you'll enjoy your basil crop all the more. Heck, you may even run out - lol!!
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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also, if you can find a good quality fresh mozzarella, insalata caprese is another summer staple. Simply toss the mozzarella with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgine oil. An easy, quick and delicious dish without suffering heat from stove or oven.

ugh, sorry I just noticed Breezy Cooking already suggested that. Let's say I completely agree with this suggestion :-p
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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I'm green with envy lindalou!! I just love basil and my plant is such a pitiful thing.
The leaves are small and sickly. It gets a little water every day on my watering system, so I know it gets enough. You or anyone else have a secret for an abundance of basil? Hope I didn't hijack this thread.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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besides all the normal pasta and bruschetta applications:

cut brie in half, spread pesto in the middle, replace top of brie and heat or microwave (about 30 seconds) you have an unbelievable cheese at serve as a starter.

put pesto in a homemade minestrone or even chicken veg soup! really makes the flavor!

add pesto to a pot roast braise just before serving to brighten and intensify flavor!

steam and halve baby new potatoes, dip in pesto! yum!

use in a potato salad or potato and green bean salad, (with or without pasta)

enjoy!
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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kayelle...have you used any Miracle-Gro? I do that about once every 3 weeks. Mine are huge and lush (don't mean to gloat ). They get full sun with no shade. They usually get water only when they look like they need it. I also pinch off the tops when they start to flower. I planted them from 2 packages of seeds in 4 huge planters...all of which germinated. The type is "Sweet Basil"...my favorite.

Welcome back, kayelle...
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