3 posts tagged with “basil”

  • How to preserve herbs like you and basil are BFFs

    I originally wrote this post for Niagara Life magazine.

    Most herbs would agree — I am probably their worst enemy, alongside a lawn mower.

    Save for chives and lavender, I struggle to grow herbs in my garden. The heaps I get in my weekly vegetable baskets from a local farmer are really just flavourful races against time to use them up before they disintegrate into brown liquid in my fridge. Oh, the guilt that comes with wasting them. But how much dill, parsley and thyme can one human possibly eat in a sitting?

    The antidote to my careless ways was to get smart with my sage and be more thoughtful with my tarragon. I’ve started preserving herbs to use when the garden is another summer memory, and to spare having to dart out, last minute, to the grocery store to buy a clam shell of coriander from far-off places.

    Here are three simple ways to alleviate guilt, save time, and preserve that bounty of parsley, those mounds of mint and loads of lavender:

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    Category In the Garden, Recipes

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  • Peach Tree
  • Gratitude: A recipe for zucchini lasagna with lentils

    Zucchini lasagna with lentils.

    I live by the rule that friends don’t give friends zucchini.

    It has worked out well for me, keeping the summer squash, super-sized at this time of year, at bay. But when a friend came at me the other week with one the size of Captain Caveman’s club and a pleading look in her eyes, I decided that sometimes friends should just shut up and take the zucchini.

    Even if I already had three pounds shredded and stuffed in my freezer, and another trio of green and striped brutes that could double as free weights languishing in my fridge.

    I think I did a pretty good job of keeping in check the glazing over of my eyes as I accepted the latest addition to my collection. Don’t get me wrong, I like zucchini. But at this time of year, I don’t think I’m alone when I say their ability to go from blossom to behemoth beast seemingly overnight, multiplying like rabbits all the while, is a bit overwhelming. Continue reading

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    Category Recipes

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  • Peach Tree
  • Saving basil seed: A Nufar-ious plot

    I’m really not trying to grow the most pathetic basil plant ever, despite what this looks like.

    I’m engaging in Operation: Saving Basil Seed. After all, my basil plant just spent the past two months providing me with the biggest, most pungent leaves I’ve ever seen, smelled and tasted.

    They were the star of pestos, the supporting actor in caprese salad, made cameos in roasted tomato sauce. And I want to harness that amazing-ness for seasons to come.

    My Nufar basil is actually brimming with life, even if it looks nearly drained of vitality. It’s packed into those brown, dried bits, in the form of seeds. Future generations of Nufar basil.

    It’s a variety of this quintessentially summer herb that I bought on an impulse, withholding hope for it only because I find basil a bit fickle to grow.

    It doesn’t grow because I water it too much. It doesn’t grow because I don’t water it enough. It turns to seed before barely giving me a leaf.

    Basil | Seed Saving

    But not Nufar basil, once bushy with leaves the size of my palm, and now picked to a lanky, lean shell of its former self. It kept growing all summer and giving me the best basil I’ve ever had.

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    Category In the Garden

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