Can I just say that I love having a balcony? Because I love having a balcony. And part of the reason is that I can now grow a mini garden. We have a green zebra tomato plant that’s doing well so far and a basil plant that’s had its share of ups and downs.
We bought the potted basil plant from Trader Joe’s and after an initial pruning to use all the leaves for cooking, I was left with a naked plant. Too scared to over-water it, I hydrated it about twice a week only to see it barely bloom. The plant gets lots of afternoon sun, so I’ve now switched my watering schedule to every other day. It’s certainly doing better, but it’s nowhere near as full as when we first bought it.
One tip I heard was to keep plucking leaves to encourage growth. You know what that means? PESTO!
I’ve made basil pesto a few times, but each iteration has been a total flop. Then I found this recipe for basil pesto that doesn’t require a food processor — just sheer bicep power. It involves mincing the ingredients little by little all by hand, just the way Italian grandmothers do it. This is my new favorite method because you get to taste each ingredient in its full richness without the blades of the processor killing the flavor. Unfortunately, because I didn’t have big, bushy leaves to work with, mine was a smaller, less green version, but the taste was all there.
Teddy supervised, as you can see.