Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 43: More stuff to do with basil

Okay, it's Day 43. I followed the instructions in the book to prune the plants. It's a bit counterintuitive, but the way to ensure that your plants grow their biggest is to chop them by up to a third every now and then (even if you have no use for the basil and have to throw the cuttings away). This allows new growth to start.

Of course, being somewhat stubborn, my goal is to find as many uses for basil as I could. The first, of course, is Insalata Caprese.

Basically, it's made of sliced plum tomatoes, sliced fresh mozarella, a little salt, a little pepper, lots of basil, olive oil, and a whole lot of "mmmmm". It's so delicious, it's hard to believe it's good for you too. I made the batch above, put it in the fridge overnight, and ate it for lunch at work the next day.

I still had a whole batch of pesto in the freezer from the last batch. So I went onto The Food Network and found a recipe for "basil mashed potatoes".

Okay, let's just say it tastes much better than it looks! It's basically just mashed potatoes, but instead of adding butter and milk, you add stock and pesto.

The basil is still growing out of control! Even after pruning it, here's what it looks like today.

Notice the little flower pot to the right. The plant you see to the right is actually a red basil plant transplanted from an old Aerogarden that I've since started planting other things in. The Aerogrow people tell you to harvest these plants for a few months, and then to pretty much throw out the mature plants...but I tried a little experiment--I took a mature plant, cut off the plastic from the seed pod, and transplanted it into a container with potting soil.

I didn't think the plant could take the shock of going from a hydroponic setting to a conventional soil setting, but so far, it looks like it's doing pretty well, and by putting it next to my Aerogarden unit, I can give it "free sunshine".

1 comment:

Penelope said...

You have made me a believer, I need to get one even though I do I have a backyard. :)