Daily Recipe :: Basic Pesto and Basil Simple Syrup
There’s nothing quite as delicious as fresh basil. Usually available in warmer months, we were excited to get our first batch in from Buena Tierra Farm yesterday. Not only is basil delicious, it fills our produce cooler with a heavenly scent.
Basil is a herb that adds depth and flavor to most any recipe, sweet or savory (lemon basil sorbet, anyone?) Seeing as it’s our first taste of local basil, we wanted to keep it simple and have basil be the main attraction. We’re also offering two recipes (exciting, we know) this time around as they’re both easy and you’ll find yourself returning to them again and again.
Can you tell we love this herb? Originally native to India, Iran and other tropical regions of Asia, basil is a member of the mint family. Unlike many herbs, basil prefers a steady water supply and because of its strong flavor and scent it’s naturally pest resistant, and can help repel insects from adjacent plants. As we mentioned before, basil loves warm weather and can be killed quickly by frost. You’ll want to transfer your basil indoors when the weather drops to the 40s or below.
It’s almost the weekend, and we suggest celebrating with some local basil. The pesto is a great base for pizza, tossed with pasta or smeared on bread. The simple syrup makes a mean cocktail, and can be added to iced tea or lemonade. It’s also delicious to use to sweeten homemade popsicles, or to use in making sorbet. You can also keep it simple and drizzle it on fresh strawberries.
Happy drinking, cooking and eating!
Basic Basil Walnut Pesto
From: Cookie and Kate
This blog post is excellent because it not only provides the simple recipe, it gives you ten different ways to use pesto. Win/win.
- 1 lightly packed cup of basil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- squeeze of lemon juice
Over medium high heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. In a food processor, combine the basil, walnuts and garlic. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Remove the mixture from the processor and pour it into a bowl. Stir in salt and a squeeze of lemon, to taste.
Basil Simple Syrup
From: Oh My Veggies
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup washed basil
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Let the syrup cool completely, then pour through a fine sieve into a jar or resealable container. Basic simple syrup lasts several weeks in the fridge, because this one has basil added to it, the blogger suggests using in within a week.