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Old 05-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Claire
Most years I buy sweet Italian basil; the large leaves make it easy to use, especially if you're going to chiffonade it.But I like something called lime basil to make a sort of pesto for Thai curries (the basil, peanuts and peanut oil, garlic, freeze, and you have a paste to add to coconut milk, broth, vegetables and meat of choice to make a great Thai green curry). Oh, yes, I knew I was forgetting something, some mint and some cilantro.

Both regular pesto and my "Thai" "Pesto" freeze well and give me a base for many meals through the winter.
What a great idea, Claire! Peanuts! Pine nuts are few and far between around here, as well as overpriced.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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I have in the past grown lemon basil, genovese and thai basils. I really like lemon basil when used raw or chiffonaded on salads and grilled chicken etc. This year I planted 9 sweet basil plants. I think they make good pesto and the plants do well in our hot humid summers.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
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What a great idea, Claire! Peanuts! Pine nuts are few and far between around here, as well as overpriced.
I find pine nuts to be expensive, but not overpriced. There is a lot of labour involved in harvesting pine nuts. Have you ever tried it yourself? It's really time consuming for a small quantity. It's also hard to get the pine cones before the squirrels have been there. Walnuts make a very acceptable substitute. I suspect many recipes have pine nuts because walnuts weren't available or cost money.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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I was able to find a big bag of pine nuts years ago, am thinking it was at the Philly Italian market, very reasonably priced, and since long gone. Around here all we can get are expensive, stale little 1 ounce jars of pine nuts.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:53 AM   #15
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I buy pine nuts at Sam's Club. they keep for a long time in the freezer.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #16
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I buy pine nuts at Sam's Club. they keep for a long time in the freezer.
+1 I get mine at BJ's and freeze as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:44 AM   #17
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I was getting mine at Costco, but they have gotten expensive there. If I remember correctly, around $40/kg.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #18
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I grow all kinds of basil - usually 4-5 varieties a year. I try to get at least one large leaf variety of sweet or Italian for sandwiches and salads; one purple leaf variety for visual interest; a Thai type for that cuisine; etc. mainly though, I pinch off a bit of leaf before buying and taste it. The labels (and nomenclature) are not always accurate, especially since basil cross pollinates easily.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:56 PM   #19
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Because I am deathly allergic to pine nuts, I never use pine nuts in my pesto (that's how I found out I was allergic--I was making pestio--that was kind of an interesting way to end the day--luckily, I wasn't home alone when I went into anaphalactic shock!). I like to make pesto using cilantro and basil. I will usually use almonds or walnuts, although I've made it with pecans or hazelnuts. I have also made pesto with Swiss Chard. Besides the normal kinds of basil (of course, I love purple basil), I grow Thai and Vietnamese basil.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:48 AM   #20
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I'm making a trip to the local nursery today so get the plants for my herb pots.. I think a variety of basil is in order again this year. I'll report back later today...
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