Today I would like to tell you the story of Baisy. Baisy was a lovely basil plant that I bought from Trader Joe's to keep me company in Connecticut when I lived there. I named her because I thought that would help me keep her alive...and it did, for a couple years, which is longer than I've kept any herb alive.
Baisy thrived in CT, spilling her lush leaves all over the place and even allowing me to give some clippings to friends and family. All she asked for was a semi-lit spot by the balcony and water every week. She filled my apartment with a lovely fragrance in the evenings when I returned from work, and even freshened my dog Mowgli's breath when he decided to have a taste one day when I was away. If I forgot to water her for a week, she would slowly shrivel up, expressing her displeasure...but a few hours after I watered her, she would be back to her usual self.
She was delicious and we had some great times together in the kitchen....in pastas, sandwiches, quesadillas, and salads. Once she was growing so fast and well that I decided to give her a big haircut and make pesto. It was simply the best pesto I have ever had, and that's what this post is about. Sadly, once I moved back to Chicago with her, she was getting a little too much sun and dried out. I tried to revive her but she was beyond repair. I miss her but her memory will live on through this pesto, which was out of this world. P.S, Baisy is survived by her offspring, Baissica and Baisment, who still live in CT. RIP Baisy!!
UPDATE: 24 hours after I wrote this post, I found 2 baby basil plants at Mariano's who I've named Baison and Baisic. Someone's looking out for me:)
- 3-4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup good fruity extra virgin olive oil
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews (I used this since pine nuts are super pricey)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Add everything to a blender and puree to desired consistency. Store pesto in an airtight container in the fridge, and add a thin layer of oil at the top of the container to prevent it from drying out. Use as a sandwich spread, in pastas, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and more.