Basil promised to be a sweet bonus this year along with our garden's small tomato crop. As a companion plant, it might improve flavor in tomatoes while repelling some garden pests. Several basil plants thrived in the garden, so they were easy picking for their own project.
I was able to pick two baskets full of sweet basil leaves and would have had more if I'd picked even a week earlier when they seemed to be at their peak.
I turned to Myra Goodman's Emerald Green Pesto recipe in the Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook called Food to Live By
. Thanks to Earthbound Farm for the cookbook I won in a recent recipe contest.
I made only slight modifications, not having parsley on hand but adding some dill from our garden to add another layer of flavor. I froze most of the pesto in silicone ice cube trays and cupcake pans, then popped those out to store in a double freezer bag.
According to the USDA, basil is a rich source of vitamin A, potassium and calcium. Now we can add pesto to all sorts of foods this fall and winter. Making pesto is one of the easiest kitchen projects around! Best part: no cooking required.