Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil is one of those herbs that I love to have on hand.  For the past few summers I have grown my own basil at home.  I used to pick it all in the fall and freeze it for use throughout the winter.  It was always great to have a supply in my freezer for pasta sauce and marinades.

This past fall I decided to bring my plant into my home and see how it would last.  I kept it in my South facing picture window where it would get as much heat and sunlight as possible.  It seemed to be a tad unhappy with me at first and then it started growing and growing and growing.  I was barely able to keep up with the supply.

If you are looking for information on how to freeze or dry your fresh herbs check out Getty’s blog Veggie Delight.  She has shared a post on freezing cilantro so that you always have some when you need it and includes many other helpful tips on herb gardening in Manitoba.

Now that it is spring again and we have warm days and nights that are above the freezing mark I have put that same basil plant back on my step for another season.  Before doing so I wanted to trim it back as much as possible.

I harvested a large portion of the plant and decided to make a version of our Basil Pesto.  I say a version because this wasn’t a well planned out experiment and I only had three of the five ingredients on hand.

So, armed with basil, garlic and canola oil I set to work. This is my version based on our Classic Pesto Recipe that is at the bottom of this post.





I had some help rolling out our homemade pizza dough. This pizza dough recipe is my favourite and a staple almost every week at our house.

After the pizza dough was rolled out I still had a helper to spread around that delicious, sweet smelling pesto.

We topped our pesto pizza with leftover roast chicken, fresh tomatoes, sautéed onions and mushrooms and green olives.  My kids LOVE green olives.

The pizza was a hit and I had used up a large portion of the basil.  I froze my leftover pesto in small containers to take out and use as needed.

Are you new to using fresh herbs?  Ellen shared her 10 Great Herb Tips with us as well as her Herb Flavour Chart.  Both are great resources for those needing some ideas on how to use all those easy to grow, fragrant fresh herbs.

Last week we had a fun group of Foodies and Aggies out to our Canola Learning Centre. We got our hands dirty with basil, soil and paint! You can read all about the night and adventures at our friend Rebecca’s blog Relish.  Rebecca shares her recap of the night as well as her awesome #hugafarmer photo.  Be sure to check it out!

This is my finished basil, soil and paint creation. I wonder what everyone will make with their basil!?!
Eat Well…Jenn