I discovered my love of herbs about 13 years ago. The first book I ever bought about herbs was Ortho’s All About Herbs. This book was my bible! And still is to this day! There are tips for how to grow your herbs, uses in cooking and medicinal uses, etc. I highly recommend this book if you’re considering growing your own herb garden.
This week’s green food is Basil! Oh how I love my basil. A member of the mint family – it’s probably one of the easiest herbs to grow. So if you’re a beginner, you can’t go wrong with basil. It’s hearty and grows quickly. I don’t always have the greenest of thumbs, but this plant makes me feel like a champ.
Basil is often used in Italian dishes. It’s great in tomato sauces as well as pesto (more on that in a bit!). There are many different variations of basil and each one has certain medicinal uses as well. Basil can be steeped in hot water and used as a tea to help aid digestion. Basil also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Rubbing the leaves on your skin helps to repel mosquitoes, and using the dried leaves in small satchels in your dresser drawers helps deter moths from your clothing.
And I’m just scratching the surface!
Today I’m going to share my most favorite recipe for pesto. You can use this pesto on pretty much anything. I’m including two pictures of dishes I’ve made within the last week. This recipe makes enough pesto to be used for probably 2-3 dishes depending on how much pesto you prefer.
Spinach & Basil Pesto
- 2 cups basil
- 1 cup spinach
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
In a food processor, combine first 4 ingredients and pulse until fine.
Scrape down bowl and add lemon juice. Pulse until combined.
Scrape down bowl once again and turn food processor on. While running, slowly add olive oil, one tablespoon at a time.
Remove from food processor and place in bowl
Add parmesan and stir until combined
Here are two photos of dinners I made this past week. Pesto Shrimp over Quinoa:
And Pesto Chicken tossed with Wheat Rotinni & Broccoli:
Let me know what you think!