My windowsills are absolutely jam-packed with small plastic plant pots. Courgette seeds, peas, borlotti and runner beans are all germinating happily in the warmth, dreading the day that I send them out into the unprotected chill of the vegetable patch. Poor little babies. Bet they wish they were basil seeds instead.
Being a Mediterranean herb, basil doesn’t cope with cool Scottish weather at all and has to be grown inside (or in a greenhouse) even at the height of summer. Thai purple basil and Greek basil are currently germinating on my bedroom window and I’m very excited about their maturation. Haven’t used Thai basil since I lived in Finland and I’ve never tried Greek basil before. Joy!
It’ll be a good few weeks before they are ready, however. Until then I have plenty of the ever popular Genovese basil to keep me going and the following idea is where much of this herb is ending up these days.
This is another one of those “recipes” that I’m a little embarrassed about posting. It’s too simple and I worry that I’m being patronising even sharing it. But I’m loving this oil so very much at the moment that I’ve just got to tell you about it.
100ml mild olive oil
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 small clove of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
- Simply whizz the basil, oil and garlic together for 5 seconds until basil is finely shredded and oil is green. Don’t be tempted to keep whizzing as the basil goes a weird murky grey colour.
- Add salt to taste.
- Keeps well in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir before use.
P.S. My favourite use for this at the moment is for dressing roasted asparagus. Yum!