Last summer, I grew basil. Though I’ve never been a gardener and it’s not something my immediate family does, I find myself around more and more gardeners. This year, I’m trying to expand. Peer pressure! So far, besides my cilantro (which died when I went out of town for three hot, rainless days), basil has been my biggest success.
What to do with so much basil? Of course I have a few standby recipes that use it – otherwise I wouldn’t bother growing my own – but I looked through my cookbooks to find an interesting recipe for my basil. Maybe a pesto or something. Ah-ha, I made the Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade from Venganomicon.
This is basil, garlic, walnuts, maple syrup, olive oil, and a little lemon zest all whipped together in the food processor.
I’ve been eating it on toast, or in sandwiches. It’s sweet and packs a flavor punch with all that basil. My favorite way to enjoy it, though, has been in a sandwich stuffed with other things too. Here’s a pocket with a leftover piece of broiled tofu and a slice of roasted eggplant along with the basil spread.