Fresh Basil From The Sunniest Spot on the Farm
Fresh Basil from Cherry Lane Farms
I personally associate basil with Italian food. Pesto, Insalata Caprese, my friend Annalisa’s mom’s incredible crostata (for which I do not have the recipe, and it pains me).
I love basil because it smells wonderful in a warm, sunny farmers market. But you have to get it to a cool place and use it quickly, because it wilts like a damsel in distress. So I’ll take mine home and have James make pesto immediately. When minced and mixed with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper, basil can last a good long time.
These leafy stalks are from Cherry Lane Farms in Bridgeton, NJ at the Union Square Greenmarket. Several other farmers had bunches on Wednesday.
I recommend buying a stalk with roots and storing it in a vase of water till you use it. Alternatively, you can grow your own basil if you have a very sunny corner and you never ever forget to water it!
Here’s a recipe for Classic Pesto from Epicurious. Serve it over pasta or bread, or use it to season baked chicken breasts.
~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City
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