We bought a share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program this year and have really been loving it. We go once a week and pick up fresh vegetables, some fruit and flowers. I think it is a great way to cook in season and help the children get a better understanding of where food comes from. One of the crops that I have been getting in abundance is basil. Not only do we get it at the farm, but the basil in the children's garden has done quite well also.
I've used a lot of the basil for one of my personal favorite summer recipes, Pesto. I use the recipe by Susan Branch from her book, Heart of the Home. Her cookbooks are some of my favorites because not only are the recipes really good but she has a way of making everything look lovely. Her illustrations make me want to cook. Her books are hand drawn and handwritten and they are simply beautiful. They make me happy just looking through them!
I make a batch of her basil and what's not eaten right away (I have to practice some self control) I put in ice cube trays and freeze. My hope is that I will still have pesto come January, but that never seems to happen. I don't even have pesto in October!
Pesto (from Heart of the Home by Susan Branch)
2 cups fresh basil, washed with stems removed
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 c. Romano cheese, grated
2/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
Toast the pinenuts in a small skillet in the butter. Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. Freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.