Ocimum basilicum – Slow to bolt. Sweet tender leaves. Use the leaves as you would any Genovese basil and we hear it makes an excellent pesto!
Herbs are easily grown indoors or outdoors. Sow every 14 days for a continuous supply of fresh leaves. Most herbs prefer a sunny and not to wet location. Try to locate plants where they will get 5 hours of direct sunlight each day. Herbs usually grow well in almost any soil but tend to thrive in light sandy soil that has been enriched with peat-moss or leaf-mold and a moderate amount of fertilizer. Cover seed slightly with soil. Keep soil moist until all seeds sprout. Seed germinates best at 18-23 C (68 – 75 F) usually in 7-14 days. Garden spacing 30 cm (12 in) apart.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
1 Pulse basil and pine nuts in a food processor: Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times.
2: Add the garlic and cheese: Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
3 Stream in the olive oil: While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
4 Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste.
Toss with pasta for a quick sauce, dollop over baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.