Spring is in the air and seedlings are sprouting! This means, that before long, I will be enjoying an array of fresh herbs from our herb garden. The thyme and lavender are just waking up from their winter’s rest. Cilantro seeds have sprouted in the hoop house and soon will be a wonderful addition to freshly made salsa. Flowers are calling and I am anxiously waiting to plant my borage seeds, saved from last year! (Borage is a beautiful gift for the bees!) What could top all of this? Two words… basil and nasturtium. Why, you might ask? One word…PESTO!
Spending time creating in the kitchen is one of my most favorite hobbies! Each morning, during the growing season, I head out to the potager to see what is ready to harvest. From that moment on, my kitchen creativity begins! Making and freezing pesto is always an exciting time and so worth it! Basil is super easy to grow from seed and can be grown it in your kitchen windowsill, year round. There is nothing better than the smell of fresh basil, in mid-January!
Nasturtium is a beautiful plant that is entirely edible. The variegated leaves and colorful flowers are a stunning addition to any salad. They also makes a compact and striking boarder plant! Nasturtium ranges from creamy white in color to yellow, orange, red and multi. I save seeds from my nasturtium each year. They do best when directly planted, after the danger of frost, and prefer sun to part shade.
Below are two Pesto recipes that I enjoy creating and experimenting with each growing season:
Traditional Basil Pesto
- 3 cups fresh basil (packed)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves (depending on your liking)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry the basil leaves. Place all of the ingredients together and process in a food processor. You might need to stop and scrape down the side of your food processor. If your pesto seems dry, slowly add 1T of olive oil at a time. The ingredients should be creamy and smooth. Fresh pesto will last in the fridge for 5-7 days or can be frozen. I love creating a large batch to freeze and use throughout the year!
Basil Nasturtium Pesto
- 1 Cup nasturtium leaves (packed)
- 1 Cup nasturtium flowers (packed)
- 1 Cup of basil (packed)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on your liking)
- 1/3 Cup olive oil
- 1/ 3 Cup pine nuts
- 1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry the basil leaves, nasturtium leaves and nasturtium flowers. Place all of the ingredients together and process in a food processor. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides. If your pesto seems dry, slowly add 1T of olive oil, at a time. Your pesto should be creamy and smooth. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Fresh pesto will last in the fridge for fr 5-7 days or can be frozen. I love creating a large batch to freeze and use throughout the year!
Each year, when the marigolds and nasturtium are in bloom, I know it is time to go on the hunt for our beautiful orb spider, the black and yellow argiope. Ms. Orb prefers to make her home among the yellow blooms. She is such a smarty pants! This photography is for Ark, who shares my appreciation for critters! I highly recommend you check out his blog: https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/
Get out there and pick up some basil and nasturtium seeds from your local garden center! Before you know it, you will be enjoying some yummy and nutritious PESTO!
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