Growing Basil: The perfect pizza herb!
Gardening and I
I love basil, it's such a great herb and there's so much you can do with it. In the past, I took one basil plant and propagated it into close to 10 plants. It's the herb that keeps on giving. The more you cut off it's leaves, the stronger the leaves grow back. Seriously, basil loves to be eaten. It's very easy to grow and one little branch can easily be grown into a completely new plant making great gifts or even just increasing your basil growth!
I really love gardening, it's extremely rewarding and very relaxing. I don't actually think most of the stuff you grow tastes tons better than what you get at the store but the freshness and satsifaction from growing it yourself makes it an infinite amount better.
Why am I growing basil now?
Now that I'm really getting into pizza, it's finally time to start the basil garden back up! Basil isn't easy to find fresh here and topping a pizza with fresh basil leaves is like the holy grail of pizza making. Let's not forget that you can make pesto with basil and pesto is great for so much stuff. You can top pizza with pesto or put it in your sandwich or use it as a filling. There's so much potential for this delicious condiment.
I found a local gardening store on Taobao (cross of ebay and amazon) selling lots of stuff plant related. While I was viewing their goods, I had quite a lot of trouble understanding what some of it meant since i'm not very familiar with plant related vocabulary but luckily the shop owner could speak some English and helped me out. I bought 8 seed trays on accident because I misread the description but the owner was nice enough to swap half of them with a huge bag of soil. I also picked up a few small pots and 2 packets of basil seeds. They gifted me some exrta seeds as well such as lavendar and some others I'v never heard of, I might grow a lavendar or two but I probably won't grow the others.
I filled each little tray cube half way with soil and then sprayed it with some water to moisten it a little. I then continued to fill the cubes the rest of the way up with soil and dropped 2 little seeds into each cube. Not every seed will start to grow and if both seeds from a single cube do start to grow then I'll clip the weaker one and let the stronger one take over. Once they grow enough I'll transfer them to their own seperate pots and continue nurturing them from there. After dropping in the seeds, I sprinkled a light layer of soil ontop of them and then gave the soil another light spray of water before putting the lid on the seed tray and putting it outside to start the growing process!
My past experience with basil
I'm very excited for this new batch of basil. In the past I grew many basil plants and made tons of pesto. It's a very easy plant to manage and you really only have to make sure you clip the leaves every now and then so you can get more growth and even more basil leaves! When you clip them well, you get huge basil bushes and huge harvests like this!
Pesto is such a fun condiment to make. You can really add a lot of different flavors and textures to make a wonderful little sauce. I kept it simple with my previous pesto and stuck to olive oil, garlic, pistachios, parmesan cheese, salt and basil leaves. I'm not sure how I'll make my next batch of pesto but I might try making it a little spicy!
These are some stuffed mushrooms I made last time with the pesto. They had such a strong and fragrant flavor and turned out really amazing. I'll certainly be making these again with my next batch!