Last week, I harvested my pitiful basil crop. We'd had two frosts and I figured it was time. Why was it pitiful? Well, for some reason, basil doesn't grow well for me. It's always stunted and pale, and this year, since it's been a bumper season for insects such as ear wigs, ants, and other nasty creatures, my basil was rather munched on and browned. I don't know if I'll grow it again; last year's wasn't stellar, either.
So, I salvaged what I could. I decided to make some pesto, since I really like having it on hand for things such as a quick pasta dish, a nice roasted chicken breast, sandwiches, and I've even put it in bread!
I got about a cup of basil leaves, which I bathed & patted dry. I stuck them in my food processor with lots of garlic, some Parmesan cheese, and a handful of pine nuts. As this whizzed away, I drizzled in olive oil until I got a nice, pesto-y consistency.
I tasted the pesto and it was good. Yet, later on that day, when I added it to some penne & shrimp, it was bland. My pesto lacked punch! WTF? Because my basil was pale - not a nice dark, lush green - I got a paler pesto. I suspect my basil was just lacking in punch in general, and hence my pesto was flat.
But, all is not lost! This will still be tasty on sandwiches and on chicken. I got about a cup of pesto in the end, and I will certainly be using it sparingly over the next little while.