Weekend Herb Blogging – Basil

It has been a while now I have been reading and planning to submit my own herb contribution to Kayln’s Kitchen – Weekend Herb Blogging. Somehow I never got around to do it, till this weekend.Real life took over the past couple of weeks, and between organizing work, life back in Brussels and of course the 2006 resolutions, I didn’t get a chance to write. I have though been cooking and taking pictures, and reading all the wonderful recipes on food blogs around.

Back though to my herb of the week. I have to start with my favourite one, basil. I absolutely love basil. I love its aroma, which fills the kitchen and can transform a dish, as well as its taste, with a drizzle of olive oil.

There are over 150 varieties of basil, however the usual one, we probably all know very well, is the bush with green oval shaped leaves. Another type of basil is the black-purple leaves variety, which I find is a more difficult to find around here.

Native of India, basil was introduced in the late 16th century. In India it is considered to be a sacred plant and can be found around many temples. In Italy it has become the symbol of love, and naturally, of savoury and aromatic Italian food. In Thai food it brings aroma and flavour, and is a constant ingredient.

On my terrace I currently grow three herbs: basil, thyme and rosemary. And for this weekend herb blogging I considered basil to be the best first choice. I used it lately for a dash of summer food, and have been preparing mozzarella – tomato – basil salads. But for this particular post, here is my recipe for Pesto (adapted from Jamie Oliver – Jamie’s Kitchen):

¼ of a clove of garlic, chopped
3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 handful pinenuts, lightly toasted
extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt, and then add it to the basil leaves and pulse in a food processor. Add the pinenuts to the mixture, and pound again. Add enough olive oil to bind the sauce to get it to an oozy consistency. Season to taste.

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