Basil from the Market

Lorie harvesting basil from her garden.

Sweet Basil is my favorite herb.  The vibrant color and fragrant flavors of pepper, anise and mint make a delightful addition to many of my recipes. I grow plenty of this prolific herb in my garden every year to support my habit and my cooking classes.

Fresh basil, glass of water, scissors and a zip top bag on the counter.

During the winter months I crave that fresh from the garden flavor so I pick up organic containers of basil at the market. To prolong its life, you will need a few household items; a glass or vase filled with water, a pair of scissors and a zip-top bag.

Stem of basil being trimmed

Snip the tip of each basil sprig at an angle with a pair of sharp scissors and put each stem in the glass filled with water.

Zip top bag being placed over the basil.

Next, split the bottom of the zip-top bag on both sides about 2-3 inches and place it over the basil. This will create a greenhouse effect.

Basil green house.

Leave your basil greenhouse on the counter-top where it will receive plenty of bright light.  Change the water daily and you will be surprised at how long basil will keep!

Basil pesto used for Panini is my favorite Basil; recipe, what’s yours?


Basil Pesto

1½ cups fresh basil, compacted

2 garlic cloves

½ cup walnuts

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Place basil, garlic, walnuts, salt in food processor, pulse until smooth, add Parmesan, olive oil and process until mixed well.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

The Basil Harvest


Can I tell you how much I enjoy my herb and vegetable garden!  I have a raised bed on the side of my house, right outside the kitchen door.  When we moved into this house over 10 years ago, the bed was filled with unruly shrubbery and the soil quality was terrible.  Over the years, we have moved the shrubs out and my pretty little garden has taken over.


My all-time favorite herb is basil.  I always plant 3-4 large plants and have more than we can possibly eat, even with cooking classes I teach!

If you are growing basil and have not harvested it, now is the time.  If the weather stays warm, it will continue to grow for a second harvest.


 I make huge batches of pesto in my Cuisinart food processor and freeze it in individual portions to be enjoyed all through the winter months.

My pesto does not have much olive oil, so it is thick like paste.  This gives me the flexibility to use the pesto in a variety of recipes when it’s pulled from the freezer.


My favorite way to eat pesto does not even require a recipe; just toast crusty bread and smear on plenty of pesto.


Add lots of chewy sun dried tomatoes for a sweet tangy bite.

Basil 3

Sprinkle on plenty of cheese and toast in the oven until cheese is bubbling.


It’s that simple!

You will find my recipe for Basil pesto below; I hope to see you soon in an upcoming cooking class!

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Basil Pesto

1½ cups fresh basil compacted

2 garlic cloves

½ cup walnuts

1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Place basil, garlic, walnuts, salt in food processor and pulse until smooth, add parmesan, olive oil and process until mixed well.