Basil is one of my favourite herbs, not only of the warm months, but all year-long. Lucky enough to have supplied myself with it all season, I use it in everything from a quick salad to my best pasta dishes. My good man makes homemade pesto at the end of the summer. There are so many varieties of basil, and I have used a few, but my preference is for sweet.
Basil was originally a native plant of Iran or India, although there is some evidence it may have come from Africa. It arrived in Europe via the Middle East to Italy, France then England, and the first immigrants brought it to North America (thank-you for that).
While I grew it on my back deck, my neighbour Barbara saw three of her plants flourish in our shared front gardens. Often times I feel the need to stop people from picking it as they walk past and see these lovely plants, but then I think, why would I? We should pass this good thing on (just don’t help yourself when the supply is low!).
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 bunches of fresh basil (the leaves)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Throw everything in the food processor and combine until desired consistency (stop to scrap down the sides).
We use it on homemade pizza in place of tomato sauce, mix it with fresh pasta (serve hot or cold) and spread it on fresh baguette.