Basil Weary

September 30, 2021

I thought it was a nice day to harvest the remaining basil. I knew there’d be a lot, but I wasn’t prepared for a project that would last 6 1/2 hours!

It really just took about 10 minutes to cut most of it down. Some branches were so thick I needed pruning sheers .. but I didn’t want to go all the way into the garage to get them, so settled for whatever I could cut with kitchen sheers and left the rest. Unknown fact (unknown to me, that is, until this year): basil just grows back and back and back… and every time you harvest a good, long stem of it, it grows back a bit thicker. We had a TON of basil this year.

Note to self: next year, plant just one or two plants.

Here’s how much I harvested, on this, the last go-round for 2021!

Then plopped it into the sink to wash and de-stem:

A FULL two hours later, I had this many basil leaves:

I dried them and put them in a giant pile. Here is a wine bottle for scale…

I decided to make some more pesto… so gathered the ingredients and got to work. I quadrupled my usual recipe (8 cups of fresh basil, 8 cloves of garlic, 8 T of pinenuts, 2 cups of parmesan and 2 cups of olive oil).

Part one: finely mince basil, garlic and pine nuts.

Then added oil, and finally cheese. It smells like Italiian heaven.

(As you can see, I still have a giant mound of basil leaves left!!!)

I made 8 dinner’s worth of pesto or so… (I gave one jar to neighbor Mary when she dropped by in the middle of packing.)

Finally, I packed the raw leaves up into baggies for later use… and all of it went into the freezer (miraculously).

It’s worth noting, we enjoyed fresh basil all summer. The freezer already has a ton of surplus basil — in the form of both pesto and raw leaves.

Did I mention we’re only going to get one or two basil plants next year?

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