Monday, January 06, 2014

Balcony Garden: Harvest Monday #52

I think that I did my tomatoes a disservice by co-planting them with basil. The basil has grown so tall that it's muscling the tomatoes for space and causing a lot of shade over the tomatoes. And, I'm thinking that tomatoes probably need sunshine to do their thing.

Also, caterpillars! I couldn't help but think that perhaps I was bringing more caterpillars to the tomatoes by having such inviting basil close by for them to chomp on. My basil was being eating alive by caterpillars...and they were starting in on my precious tomatoes!!!

Ergo, I decided to pick most of my was time to put those caterpillars on starvation diet.

There is pretty much only one thing to do with a massive bowl of basil, and that is to make Pesto. I used the recipe from Indira Naidoo's book though I added WAY more Parmesan cheese than she recommends as I found the taste of the basil just too strong for me.

As much as love Pesto I still find the smell of basil totally overpowering, especially as you need to check each + every leaf for bugs before you blend them up. I'm also not sure but the olive oil in my pesto keeps being absorbed...maybe my fridge is too high...or something (HELP)!

Do you like Pesto and if so do you have a great recipe for homemade Pesto?

Happy gardening, Miss Piggy xoxo


  1. Helen (grabyourfork)January 6, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I've heard that blanching basil leaves first (and then cooling in iced water) means you retain a vibrant green colour. Not sure about the oil absorption thing. Are you covering the entire surface in olive oil each time you put it back in the fridge?

  2. Bloody caterpillars! I love love love pesto, I've been making it sans Parmesan for ~3 years, just with garlic, nuts (pinenuts, macadamias, pecans or walnuts), garlic, olive oil and a touch of lemon juice.

  3. We have a stack of basil in our garden as well. Not liking pesto much, not sure what to do with it all. I have been freezing the leaves, but there is only so much basil one can have. And yes your tomatoes do need sun. I have joined "The Little Veggie Patch Co". They specialise in gardening in small places. Cool dudes.

  4. Hello Mel. Your basil looks healthy, even with a few pesky caterpillars. I do love pesto but it can be quite strong. I use a recipe from The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans. It involves 80g pine nuts (I sometimes use almonds) 3 garlic cloves, 2 cups basil leaves, 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 80g grated parmesan or pecorina or 40g of each. Blitz in the usual pesto way! Let me know if you need more specifics :)

  5. THREE cloves of garlic...wowzers! It does sound good though - thanks for sharing!

  6. I made a pasta last night with fresh tomatoes & basil stirred through with olive oil & balsamic. It was yummy and the basil was quite mild (probably offset by two huge raw garlic cloves).

  7. I think I put in SO much cheese to try and offset the flavour of the basil. Maybe I should've just ate a block of chocolate.

  8. Thanks for the tip re blanching...I'll try that next time. And I am covering the pesto entirely in's like an oil "black hole". I'm thinking that this pesto is NOT healthy!

  9. Yum! I need to do something with some of mine. Growing madly at the moment.

  10. Ha! Another trick to mellow down the basil taste is adding spinach.


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