Thank you for joining our recent ‘Grow Your Own Pesto’ Workshop
Basil Growing Guide
I hope you enjoyed our ‘Grow your own Pesto’ workshop!
We love growing basil. Nothing beats the aroma it releases as you brush past, and the taste of homemade pesto is unbeatable – our recipe is further down the page!
You’ve already sown the seeds at our workshop. Now its just a matter of taking care of it! Basil is quick to germinate and you should see the seedlings emerge in less than a week.
With a bit of care, basil can be grown outdoors just about all year in our climate. In this guide we will show you just how simple it is to grow; honestly you will never go back to shop bought plants!
- We grow our basil outdoors, but you can grow it in a bright spot indoors if you rather.
- Keep your pots in a bright place, but out of direct sunlight to start.
- Keep the soil moist, but not soaking.
- After germinating, give the seedlings more direct light, but avoid afternoon sun for a while if possible.
- Once they are about an inch tall, we separate them and plant one seedling per 3” pot. If you don’t want to do this, just cut some of the stems out so that you keep 3 seedlings maximum.
- After the seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall, you can plant the seedlings (including the pot as it is biodegradable) into the ground, or into a bigger pot if you want to grow in pots.
- You can make your first small harvest when the plants are about 6” tall and have several sets of leaves. Harvest by cutting just above a leaf joint. Keep harvesting for stronger growth and better harvests, as this will encourage more stems to grow.
- For best results, give the plants an occasional feed with a liquid seaweed fertiliser. This can be purchased from the Garden Concept store on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Amirahs Favorite Pesto Recipe
Makes 1 pint (16oz)
- 4 packed cups basil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3/4 cups olive oil
- 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice (adjust to taste)
- Just under 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil in a blender (we use a Nutribullet).
- Blend until ingredients have been chopped to your desired consistency (less for a coarser pesto, longer for a smooth one).
- Drizzle oil in and blend until oil is combined.
- Taste, and add a little sea salt if you like!
- We store in a 1/2 pint mason jar in the fridge for a week. Try to remove any air bubbles, as they will cause the pesto to oxidise.
- Once jar is filled, drizzle a little olive oil to cover the top so it doesn’t go brown on top where it would be exposed to air.
- Alternatively, pour into an ice cube tray, pop in the freezer until solid and transfer to a freezer bag.
- We keep pesto in the freezer until we use them, normally about 2-3 months. If freezing, do not add the Parmesan – instead add it during the cooking process later on!