Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Basil Harvest - Goodies to Share

With an abundance of fresh basil, I recently made basil salt several different ways along with fresh pesto using the tiny tasty leaves of Pistou basil. In place of pine nuts I used salt and pepper flavored pistachios I had on hand I bought from Yvonne and Fidel at the farmers market. After several requests to share the recipes - I decided to post here -  follow the links below.

 Valentino basil has such lovely large leaves and wonderful flavor.
I still have a gigantic bowl of Red Ruben basil to use up.
Hmm... what's next, any suggestions?

Enjoy Your Bumper Crop of Basil Year Round 

with Fresh Basil Salt

I made four batches of fresh basil salt following Hometalks' easy instructions link above. Using kosher certified Mediterranean coarse sea salt for three batches and one batch using pink Himalayan salt, I learned to tell what it looks like when its dry enough to be done. 

I have to say my favorite tasting is the Himalayan batch.
Not quite dry yet.
Photos by Debbie Cox
I use a salt grinder daily so had containers on hand of the sea salt. I put one batch back into the processor after it dried to grind it up further but left the other batches coarse. What great gifts for myself, oh and others. Hometalk also provided a dip and dish to utilize the fresh sea salt and more fresh basil below - looks yummy!

Bountiful Tomato and Basil Harvest / 

Caprese Crostini Skewers

Thanks to several of my herb friends, Mary Nell, for turning me onto the above and Dorothy Earley for the mixed herb pesto recipe below she so generously shared. Enjoy!

Dorothy Earley's
Mixed Herb Pesto
  • 1 cup basil
  • ½ cup oregano
  • ½ cup mint
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 t salt
Place basil, oregano, mint, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and run it on high until all ingredients are finely pureed.  Remove from blender or food processor and add Parmesan cheese and salt. Mix well. Serve with pasta.

I believe the real secret to great pesto, is not just fresh sweet basil, but a really fine Parmesan cheese. Grate it yourself just before you need it. And it doesn't hurt if you use the best olive oil you can find either.