What to do with all that basil? The possibilities are endless. Today I made basil hummus and it was delicious so I'll share the recipe in case you are looking for something to make with your bountiful basil.
Thank goodness for basil. If not for it and the melons, my garden would look very sad. We're at the point in the summer when the heat has taken its toll and most of the veggies have been harvested.
Our growing season in Southern California is a long one, as in all year long. We generally plant summer gardens starting in March/April, then in the fall we plant our winter gardens. September and October are typically really hot and dry. My summer garden is tired and so am I. The heat zaps my energy, so gardening this time of year is not appealing.
I long for the cooler days of fall. I am inspired by seed catalogs and thoughts of fall planting but I can't seem to find the gumption to get out there and work. The list of chores to be done in preparation for the winter garden is long, but it is about a month too early to really get started. I have one bed cleared and the soil amended. There are spaces in the other beds left vacant by harvesting.
The melons are still producing their incredible bounty despite looking a bit fried.
So the bed with herbs is the one pretty spot, thanks to the basil.
I have harvested several plants. The leaves were rinsed, then allowed to dry before they were placed in snack-sized ziplock baggies and frozen. My stash of frozen basil leaves will allow us to enjoy fresh basil hummus this winter. Here's the recipe.
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 C dried garbanzo beans, soaked in water over night, or 2 cans garbanzo beans
1/4 C pine nuts
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. My favorite is Cholula.
1/4 C water (or less)
Place the garlic and basil in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until finely chopped.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add to the food processor along with the pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tomato paste and hot sauce. Pulse for a few seconds at a time until mixed. Add water a little bit at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Serve in a bowl with a little olive oil drizzled on top and garnish with some pine nuts and a sprig of basil.