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Old 08-06-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
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Basil

I just bought a lovely container full of some fresh basil. I live in an apartment, so the plant(s) will get some sun every day. I'll repot it tomorrow.

I'd appreciate any growing tips, and especially recipe ideas for using it.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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Wish I could send you some more! Great for pesto. I puree mine and freeze in ice cube trays with a bit of water, then throw in soups and stews. I grow mine from seed outdoors, but inside, I would keep them nice and sunny, and prune frequently. Keep well watered, but not standing in water. Great for any Italian recipe. They take no special care.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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I've never made pesto, Dawg. Help me out here. It sounds good, but just remember I'm cooking for one. Got a recipe?
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhizara
I've never made pesto, Dawg. Help me out here. It sounds good, but just remember I'm cooking for one. Got a recipe?
A good scrunchful of basil, with a bit of garlic, some type of toasted nuts (pinenuts are traditional, but walnuts, pistachios, or any other nut would work, even sunflower seeds). some grated parm or romano cheese, and evoo. Start the blender with everything but the evoo, then slowly add the oil through the top. S& p to taste. Mine usually grows out of the blender, but with a single plant, hopefully yours won't! You want more basil than anything else. Parsley or other greens can also be used.

This also freezes well, put in ice cube trays, then in ziplocks.

Good stuff!
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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I occasionally make Chilled Tomato-Basil Soup:

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 6) tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 10 whole fresh basil leaves plus 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • sour cream for garnish
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling the soup
and as an accompaniment...

garlic baguette toasts:
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or forced through a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • a French baguette, cut lengthwise into 6 long wedges
  • coarse salt to taste
Preparation:


To make the soup:
In a food processor purée the tomatoes and force the purée through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and the broth and stir the mixture into the tomato purée. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, the sugar, the whole basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup cool and chill it, covered, for at least 8 hours. The soup may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Discard the whole basil leaves, ladle the soup into 6 bowls, and garnish each serving with a dollop of the sour cream and some of the chopped basil. Drizzle the soup with the oil and serve it with the toasts.


To make the garlic baguette toasts:
In a small skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it begins to turn golden, brush the bread wedges with the oil, and on a baking sheet bake them in the middle of a preheated 375°F. oven for 10 minutes, or until they are golden. Sprinkle the toasts with the salt and break them in half. Makes 12 toasts.



yield: Makes about 6 cups, serving 6

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Old 08-06-2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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Selkie, that sounds yummy! Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
A good scrunchful of basil, with a bit of garlic, some type of toasted nuts (pinenuts are traditional, but walnuts, pistachios, or any other nut would work, even sunflower seeds). some grated parm or romano cheese, and evoo. Start the blender with everything but the evoo, then slowly add the oil through the top. S& p to taste. Mine usually grows out of the blender, but with a single plant, hopefully yours won't! You want more basil than anything else. Parsley or other greens can also be used.

This also freezes well, put in ice cube trays, then in ziplocks.

Good stuff!
Shelled pumpkin seeds/pepitas also work well. Pesto is amazing on just about any pasta, mixed into rice, mixed into a little broth to make a soup, tossed with fresh veggies (raw diced cucumber, tomato and zucchini is one of my favorite mixes). You can also add cream to it to make a creamy pesto. The main thing to remember is not to cook it. Oh, it's also good spread on a crusty slice of garlic bread.

@Selkie, that soup recipe sounds really good!
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #8
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Great Selkie! Thanks, is this recipe posted in the soup forum?
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
A good scrunchful of basil, with a bit of garlic, some type of toasted nuts (pinenuts are traditional, but walnuts, pistachios, or any other nut would work, even sunflower seeds). some grated parm or romano cheese, and evoo. Start the blender with everything but the evoo, then slowly add the oil through the top. S& p to taste. Mine usually grows out of the blender, but with a single plant, hopefully yours won't! You want more basil than anything else. Parsley or other greens can also be used.

This also freezes well, put in ice cube trays, then in ziplocks.

Good stuff!
I usually have some honey roasted peanuts on hand I'll bet they would work??

'Splain me about the growing out of the blender, please. It's actually several plants stuck in a tiny 2" container. The Basil themselves are pretty tall and have gorgeous leaves. I'm letting them rest overnight and will pot them up in the morning. I'll take some cuttings then.

There should be a good healthy handful. I've got EVOO and a blender. What's next"?
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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I love this appetizer - it uses a generous amount of basil:
BRUSCHETTA WITH ROASTED PEPPERS AND GOAT CHEESE
Bruschetta With Red Peppers And Goat's Cheese Recipe - Food.com - 3237

This is delicious - It can be a main dish or side dish, and uses 1/4 cup chopped basil:
CURRIED COUSCOUS SALAD WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/re...cipe_id=226616
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