Although we live in the city, we try our best to have a little herb garden the last few summers on our balcony. This year I lost my cilantro right away. What a bummer. But every single year I can depend on good old basil. No matter how hot it gets, no matter how long we go on vacation, and no matter how much I take from the plant it always bounces back. Yes, I am pretty rough on my little herb garden. I said I had one, I didn’t say I was perfect at maintaining it. I am new at the gardening thing. I haven’t gotten to the point where I talk to my plants. I mean, every neighbor on the south side of my building would think I have totally lost it.
So here we are again, past the half-way point of summertime, and I have a enormous amount of basil. Aromatic and sweet, this herb holds a special place in my heart. It is wonderfully delicious in so many things. This year I will harvest and freeze it in an ice cube tray with some olive oil.
But, there is always old faithful, Pesto. I use pesto in so many things that it is a staple in my fridge. I love it for appetizers, pastas, chicken, and breakfast. Yes, breakfast. It is fantastic in scrambled eggs. Just mix it in the last few seconds of scrambling. You can use about 1 tsp per egg. I like to serve it up with a little fresh mozzarella and sundried tomato. Bellissimo!
Green Basil Pesto with Roasted Garlic
1 1/2 c green basil
5-6 cloves roasted garlic*
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
Mix the first four ingredients in a blender or Cuisinart. Keep mixer on and drizzle in olive oil until it all comes together and is a soft, but not liquid consistency.
*To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400F. Cut the top of a head of garlic and pour 2 Tb olive oil over the top. Place in a small roasting pan and cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Roasting it takes the bite out the garlic. If you do not have time to roast the garlic, use 1-2 cloves raw garlic instead.