Week 51 – Herbs

I was so excited for this week. I have had tons of basil all summer and no reason to be creative with it.

Isn’t my garden nice?? This is a picture of mostly basil, but I also have red and green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and a variety of tomatoes.

With the basil, I’ve made a lot of pesto. Thad and I took a cooking class at Kitchen in the Market this spring where they made a nut-free pesto. I’ve been using their recipe because it’s so easy and I have all of the ingredients.

To make the pesto, you need:

  • 2 cups basil
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

All you need to do is process the basil, garlic, and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Then, while the machine is running, slowly add in the olive oil. Finally, add the cheese, a big pinch of salt, and some pepper. Process to combine and re-season to taste.

Now the real question is what to do with the pesto. Janine made some Pesto Chicken in Week 21 – New To You. For this week, I tried something a little different:

IMG_2724

I put some pesto on top of chicken breasts, added some tomatoes, and some parmesan cheese. It was delicious and so so easy. It’s a great way to use up the pesto and tomatoes from the garden.

Then, since pesto is nothing new to me, I thought I’d try basil in something else: Tomato Basil Soup! I used this recipe for Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup. I also added some pesto and tomatoes to the traditional grilled cheese to accompany the soup.

I used sourdough, a variety of cheeses, a tomato from my garden, and the fresh pesto.

IMG_2738

It was such a good combination!

Do you have basil in your garden? What do you do with it? Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to try something different.

Come back next week…Janine and I will both be posting because it’s our final challenge!

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