Monday, April 19, 2010

Worth Growing your own--Titina Plants Her Basil Crop

The soil has been turned and the plants are on order from a local farmer. In a few days Chef Titina will plant her basil crop in the kitchen garden outside the Capri Flavors retail store.

A mainstay in Titina's cooking, this classic Italian herb gets a lot of space in her garden.

When plants mature, she will use them in her classes, cutting branches early in the day, then washing and wrapping the basil in a towel to drain and dry on the counter.

After students arrive at 6 pm, the basil is chopped into Titina's delicious bruschetta, ground into her classic pesto or layered on a fabulous Caprese Salad.

It is the flavor of Southern Italy--

Titina also makes basil pesto to freeze and sell in the store. And she sometimes grinds and freezes a simple fresh basil, olive oil combination to use in other dishes.

But the best basil is fresh from the garden. And it's an easy crop to grow. Just add sun, soil, and water. Even a large pot will do if you have no garden space. Transplants are readily available. Look for four-packs in the garden center.
Basil likes heat, so wait until days and nights warm up. Then in a few weeks, fresh basil for your kitchen, just like Titina's. For recipes, click on one of the blog links above.

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