Saturday, June 30, 2012

Naomi's Pesto - Growing the Basil

One of my absolute favorite things in the world is pesto. I love pesto on pasta, chicken, salmon, shrimp and rice.
Let’s face it, pesto is not a cheap item. Tiny jars of pesto in the grocery store run $5 to $7 each. The require Sweet Basil, Olive Oil, Pine Nuts, Salt and Lemon Juice.
Last summer I decided to make my own pesto. Even making it was not cheap. It was certainly less expensive than buying in in the grocery store, but still not an inexpensive item.

Pesto is a fairly high calorie item because of the olive oil. ( There are about 120 calories in one tablespoon of olive oil) The Basil has almost no calories. The Pine nuts do have calories, but I am not sure how much would be in one tablespoon.
Pesto can go a long way. Just one tablespoon per plate is usually enough. So I estimate that it is 130-150 calories per tbs of Pesto.

This year, I decided to make and can my own pesto. It all starts with one basic ingredient – the sweet basil leaves.

I planted the basil seeds early this spring. At first they did not grow well because they were not getting enough sunlight. I moved them to the front, where they could get more light and water. The little plants started to poke through the soil. But that was not fast enough for me. Summer us here, and I need some real basil plants for my pesto. So I cheated, went to Lowes and bought a couple basil plants.
I took one plant, separated it, and put it into three separate pots. They are growing beautifully. 

The basil that I planted from seed are still also growing slowly, and nicely. Hopefully by the end of summer or early fall they can be harvested.

When I make my pesto, you can guarantee that I will be selling it.

Stay Tuned!

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