Grow It Where You Can - Basil

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My fire escape "garden"
I would love to really try my hand at gardening someday but for now my garden is situated on my fire escape.  It's city living folks! I've grown tomatoes, squash, peppers, basil, thyme, mint, parsley and rosemary out there.  Basil is by far one of my favorite herbs to grow not only because it's easy to maintain but I like to put it in a variety of dishes.  One of the easiest recipes that I have for basil aside from picking it fresh and throwing it atop a salad is pesto.  This Basil Walnut Pesto consists of 6 easy ingredients, it's vegan, and it will make any dish sing with flavor.

fresh basil
Benefits of adding basil to the mix:
  • Basil's volatile oils and extracts have antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. 
  • Fresh basil has a high vitamin K content.  Vitamin K ensures that our blood clots efficiently so when one gets an injury it will prevent excessive bleeding.
  • It is a rich source of vitamin A which helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the bloodstream.
  • It's a good source of magnesium which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax.
  • Basil is also a great source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C.  
gluten-free rice pasta with Basil Walnut Pesto
BASIL WALNUT PESTO     makes one cup

2 cups basil (loosely packed)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Wash and dry 2 cups of fresh basil add to a food processor with garlic, walnuts, dijon + lemon juice.
2.  Pulse a few times then put on mix and slowly add the olive oil through the feeding tube.
3.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add to your favorite pasta, toss onto some vegetables or spread the love onto a sandwich!

Basil Walnut Pesto

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