June 8, 2008 at 10:11 am Leave a comment

Basil pesto is one of my food groups. For as much of the year as it is possible, I have a plate of it for dinner two-three times a week. The stuff that can be had from grocery stores does not pertain. What I eat is basically ground basil, with a little garlic, oil and salt and a little grated cheese tossed with pasta.

In order to obtain this basis of my diet, I grow my own basil. Usually an entire garden bed each season. As it comes up, I cut it back once or twice to encourage a full, leafy bush and then I confine myself to harvesting the leafing clusters just before they send up the characteristic flowering spike. In high season, which lasts usually from late June through the first frost, I harvest my patch every three-four days. What I don’t eat right away gets packed tight into glass baby food jars and frozen. One memorable year, I was just finishing up the last of the previous year’s frozen remains when the new year’s first thinnings came in. This year, I almost managed that with a basil drought of about a month and a half.

Yesterday evening, I ducked out as the extreme heat of the day (the temperature hit 100°F here) was fading and did my first cutting back to encourage bushy growth. Basil loves the heat and after the weeding/thinning I did last Friday followed by some propitious rains and high heat, the plants exploded in growth.

So, last night the Kid and I feasted on the first pesto of the year. Pesto was his second solid food — following bananas and it’s his favorite dish by far. We were happy diners. And I have most of a jar to bring with me when I venture up to the CRV today. Yum.


Entry filed under: Cooking, Piedmont, Transit.

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