What to Do With All This Basil

My basil plants are going gangbusters this year. They really like being in the garden with the tomatoes. I guess it’s no secret that basil and tomatoes get along well together. I did a big harvest today, enough to make a good batch of pesto, and I barely made a dent. I expect I will get 3 or 4 similarly sized harvests before the summer is over.

The question is: what do I do with all this basil? I’ve been eating it on pretty much everything lately. It’s a good thing it’s my favorite herb. Today for lunch, I toasted peasant bread, spread some pesto on top and topped that with smoked trout. It was delicious, a perfect summer snack. (Thanks to Patricia Wells for the idea!)

Not just basil, but also dill and mint and thyme have been putting in overtime this summer. Today I made green iced tea with a little honey and plenty of mint — outstanding! At dinner we had dill on the salmon and mint on the squash. It’s funny that this year, when we haven’t gotten a lot of rain, the herbs are going all out.

Speaking of squash, we’re already getting plenty out of the garden. I told my husband he’d better be prepared to have squash every night for dinner. It’s true when they say that it takes absolutely no effort to grow squash. We even have squash that sprouted from seeds in the compost, with absolutely no encouragement from us. A month ago, they were tiny unidentified seedlings. Now they have turned into this:

Monster Squash

That’s just one plant. There are several others, but this one is definitely the biggest. I’m not convinced that they are all the same kind. But this one on the corner is already putting out baby squash. What kind would you guess it is?

Unidentified Squash

To me, it looks like an acorn squash (unlikely because we don’t normally eat them) or a butternut or possibly a very young pumpkin. But I know nothing of these things and am just guessing. Whatever it is, it seems clear from the number of flowers that we’re going to have a lot of them.

And that’s this week’s garden report!


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2 thoughts on “What to Do With All This Basil

  1. cremarie 26 June 2007 at 12:51 pm

    I have the same basil overload, but luckily pesto freezes amazingly well. I put mine in ice cube trays, freeze then transport the cubes to a ziploc bag. It’s so nice on a winter’s night to pull out a cube or two for a taste of spring. Hope that helps!

  2. Shannon 27 June 2007 at 9:09 am

    Great tip! Thanks.

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