for years, i’ve watched one of my best friends grow pots of basil every summer and make her own pesto. “it’s easy,” she said!
usually, anything “easy” i muck up pretty badly. but this year i finally did it!
at the beginning of the season, i purchased my basil plants – i got about four 4” pots of basil. i planted them in one large container, set it on my deck in a sunny spot and just let it grow. i don’t usually grow anything edible – my attention wanders and i’d rather not have anyone depending on anything from my garden. but the basil was pretty maintenance-free. i had to water a few times during the hottest periods in the summer. aside from that, easy-peasy!
i was told to harvest the basil before it begins to flower. i’m not really sure what happens when it begins to flower….it stops producing leaves? it dies? the world ends? i don’t know. to be honest, several times mine began to flower before i got around to harvesting and it all still turned out just fine. sometimes i just picked the leaves, other times i pruned it down pretty well to stimulate new growth.
from those 4 plants, i made about 5 or 6 batches of pesto this year. i pruned it yesterday – we’ll see if i get any more growth!
and as it turns out, making pesto really is easy! just harvest your leaves – use just the larger ones. i think the small ones can be a bit bitter. don’t forget to rinse!
add all your ingredients to you blender or food processor….
and presto! you’ve made pesto! (ha! sometimes i’m so corny!)
2 cups of basil leaves (no need to pack them down or anything)
4 cloves of garlic (as you can see, i use the diced garlic from a jar. so sue me!)
1 cup of nuts (pine nuts or walnuts. i use walnuts – less expensive and no real difference in taste)
1/4 cup of romano cheese (most of the time, i forget the romano so i add extra parmesan)
1 cup of parmesan cheese
approximately 1 cup of olive oil – whatever is needed to achieve proper consistency.
blend well. enjoy!
if i manage to get any more growth on my basil plants, i’m considering putting one of them in a smaller pot and moving it indoors for the winter.
do you grow any herbs indoors? which ones?