How to store fresh basil: place freshly cut stem ends in a jar of water on the counter. Do not refrigerate. Change out water for longer life.
Frog Song Pesto
1 bunch basil – wash and remove tough stems
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil – approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup
Sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup to 1 cup
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Place basil, garlic and sunflower seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the processor and pour in olive oil until the consistency is what you like and it blends evenly. Add lemon juice and pulse. Add cheese and salt to taste.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can make pesto in your blender. Add extra oil and a little water until there is enough liquid to blend.
Serve pesto tossed with pasta, or as a spread on bread. You can also add pesto with a cream sauce for a rich and delicious sauce. Add extra oil and thin the pesto to drizzle over grilled chicken or portabello mushrooms.
You can save pesto by refrigerating or freezing. Place in an airtight container. If you are not serving the pesto immediately, push wax paper or plastic wrap onto the surface of the pesto to block out air and prevent browning.
More ideas for Basil: chop and add into salads, garnish pasta and pizza, and toss with stir-fried eggplant for a fragrant dish.