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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Basil's Birth

Basil is a great addition to the garden.  But we don't have to wait for our outdoor garden to produce this warm weather herb.  Basil is only two weeks away if started indoors in a sunny window or under growlights.  If enough seeds are sown, some basil can be harvested while the plants are still very small for a light flavor boost.  Other plants can be left alone to grow larger. 

 

Indoors is the only place I grow basil.  My zone 5 summers are too cold and too short for growing this very cold sensitive herb outdoors. 


The basil shown in these photos was planted a few weeks ago.  It replaces another crop of basil that was growing under the lights.  That basil had become stragglely and worn, and so it was time for a new crop.  Basil grows faster if growlights are kept within an inch of the top of the leaves. 

I have a recipe called "Potato Basil Puree" from The Barefoot Contessa's new cookbook that I checked out from the library a few weeks ago.  It was the impetus for this new crop.  The recipe calls for two cups of lightly packed basil, so it'll be another few weeks before I can try it.

But I can rob a few of these leaves now to add some flavor to various dishes. 

I am happy with this basil's arrival. 

I have more basil recipes on my website.  Click here to see them.

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