Friday, September 19, 2008


~ Basil
(Ocimum basilicum)


"This important culinary herb, with its warm spicy flavor, send cooks into poetic raptures. A native of Africa and Asia, basil is held in reverence as a plant imbued wit divine essence, and therefore the Indians chose this herb upon which to swear their oaths in court. Basil was found growing around Christ's tomb after the resurrection, so some Greek Orthodox churches use it to prepare the holy water, and pot of basil are set below church altars.

There are many varieties of basil, including shrubby basil, which is a tropical species. In Haiti, it belongs to the pagan love goddess Erzulie, as a powerful protector, and in rural Mexico it is sometimes carried in pockets to magnetize money and to return a lover's roving eye."

~ The Complete Book of Herbs



~ Before the frost hits, harvest basil for this deliciously sweet meld of flavors



1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup roasted pistachios

1/3 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. chopped green onions

2 Tbsp. chopped red onion

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

pinch coarse salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. linguine

1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

chopped green onion for garnish

pistachios for garnish

  • Combine basil, pistachios, Asiago cheese, green and red onions, garlic, salt and pepper in food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add oil and incorporate into pesto until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
  • Cook pasta into boiling salted water until tender but firm. Scoop out 1 cup pasta water and reserve if needed. Drain pasta and stir in pesto and Asiago cheese. Toss and add pasta water if too thick. Top with grilled scallops and garnish with additional pistachios and chopped green onion. (4 servings)



24 large sea scallops

2 cloves minced garlic

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

juice and zest of 1 lemon

freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine scallops, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, zest and cracked pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat grill. Remove scallops from marinade and grill on high for 2-3 minutes on each side.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joey,
WOW, the pesto sounds great! I made a ton of it this week to freeze for the winter. But, this recipe is interesting with onions and pistachios (my favorite). So out to the garden I'll go to try this version.

Sept. is a busy month for me, canning (tomatoes, salsa, pears, beets, jalapeno jelly), freezing (ratatouille, peppers, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, peaches, raspberries). Whew, I'm tired, but can't stop now; I know how great things will taste when "Old Man Winter" blows in.

Gotta get hoppin', talk to you soon,

Anonymous said...

Now you're talking! I love pasta & I adore seafood especially scallops! Great dish & lovely basils!

HappyMouffetard said...

Great photos and mouthwatering recipes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, scallops - my very favorite food. Your photo is great - really interesting frames!

Heather BT said...

Howdy Joey,
On my blog is a link to Owlhaven, she has a link on her blog today about getting Martha to talk about your blog. Think yours would be great for that.
Heather BT

bg_garden said...

Happy Friday to you! I love the photos college. What art program did you use to create that basil image?

The pesto recipe looks fabulous. I will have to give it a try with store bought basil becuase my basil already died for the summer.

Happy Friday once again and thanks for sharing your garden with recipes.


Rose said...

I had no idea about this history of basil; very interesting, Joey. Someone else recently showed a few varieties of basil, and I saw the purple variety you have pictured here. It's a beautiful plant and would look great in the garden even if you didn't use it in cooking.

joey said...

Dear Ann ... I don't have room to post all recipes as I harvest my basil before the frost hits. My favorite is to include basil in fresh salads (simply featuring seasonal veggies shouting to be eaten with leftover salmon, grilled chichen, shrimp, or lovely boiled eggs), my favorite supper. Bless you for canning (not one of my strong suits).

P.G. ~ you are most creative in your busy garden but this is easy and fits in our crowde lives.

Thanks for another visit 'Happy' ... your last post leaves me baffled!

Scallops rule in our house, Nancy. These are simple, leaving the essence of scallops intact (you can forget the pasta and gorge on the scallops).

Howdy Heather. I'm at the lake touching base with Nancy's issues, etc. Visited your heartfelt site and couldn't find the link (duh ... Mike's computer is not as user friendly as mine back home). Perhaps you can guide me dear one (will be here through Wed ... a benefit calender for this precious lake and worthy cause is on my menu). Am so amazed reading about your BIG HEART. You are the essense of why God put us upon this earth.((BIG HUGS))

Jane O' said...

Oh my, you've got me with this one. You know what I think about seafood -- it's the best and the only thing I really enjoy ordering when I eat out! Sounds scrumptious.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I have been looking for way to use my bumper crop of basil. This sounds awesome.

joey said...

Rose ... I love the color of opal basil both in the garden as color relief and as a garnish for dishes.

I remember you love seafood, Jane Marie and share your passion. (Dined on perch and walleye at our favorite inn at the lake last night). Also tops with me at home and why I feature so many seafood recipes. I'm a veggie gal (could live on hearty salads), then seafood, fowl & pasta, and when I crave red meat, love it rare!

Hi Aunt Debbie ... basil rules this time of year, if only for the awesome smell permeating the kitchen. Try snipping some of your harvest into salads ... a flavor that sings of summmer :)

Maureen Reynolds said...

Great basil will be ok for this week at's only in the 50s or 60s at night now. Fingers crossed.

joey said...

Indeed, let's keep fingers crossed, Maureen. I'm away from my basil crop with hopes of making lots of good stuff before the frost hits. Thanks for visiting ;)