Another backyard harvest I have been enjoying lately is basil. I currently am growing 5 types of basil, but I am only pretty sure of what to do with three of the types. I have regular basil (sweet basil), purple basil, lime basil, lemon basil and Thai basil growing.
The sweet basil and purple basil, I have been using for sauces, caprese salads, etc; the Thai basil for Asian inspired dishes, but I’m not too sure of what to do with the lemon and lime basil. Any suggestions? Please let me know!
Another delicious use of sweet basil and purple basil is pesto! Pesto is super easy to make and very versatile, as you can use it as a dip, over pasta, coating chicken with it, using it as a spread on sandwiches and so much more. In fact, I found a list of 50 things you can do with pesto. Yummmm!
I actually never used purple basil before and it has a slightly richer flavor than sweet basil with licorice and, some people even say, cinnamon undertones. Because of this I decided to combine both varieties to make my pesto and the results were a more flavorful, robust sauce. Traditionally, pesto is basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Everyone has their own ratios of each ingredient to pull out the flavors they like the most. The version below is my favorite combination. Enjoy!
1&1/4 Cup each of Sweet Basil and Purple Basil (or 2&1/2 Cups of sweet basil)
3/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup toasted Pine Nuts
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more to taste, pesto should be a thick paste, so if the sauce seems dry add more oil)
Salt and ground Pepper to taste
Combine everything except the oil in a food processor and process until the ingredients are well mixed and starting to form a paste. Slowly add oil until a thick paste is formed. Recipe makes about 1 Cup of pesto.