After our storm, the plants were due for a much overdue trim. The wild rains and winds had knocked some of them senseless (our arugula is in intensive care; we’re not sure they’re going to make it) but made others blossom with abundance (I’m looking at you, freakin’ rosemary.)
So, it was time to cut back our basil and mint. But of course, being from New York City and having never grown anything besides my own hair, I had no idea how to go about this.
“Cut the mint at pot level,” Anthony told me, “and trim the basil right where it splits off.” After staring at him for a few moments, I uttered, “wha?”
So began the first pruning of 2013.
I admit, I felt tremendously and neurotically guilty. How could I cut back my beautiful plants that I worked so hard to grow? Would they come back? Would they sprout thorns in vengeance?
But cut them back I did, until their new haircuts left them as shorn as a new sheep.
But, of course, all was not lost. What we were left with was an abundance unlike any I’d seen before.
I am planning on dehydrating the mint to make tea, but I had special plans for this basil. In honor of the Red Queen and her immortal cry of “off with their heads!” I created a paleo/primal, vegan, and totally delicious pesto. In the Alice in Wonderland spirit, I peered into the looking glass and used lime instead of lemon, and macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts. What resulted was delicious. In fact, had it been in a bottle labeled “drink me” I wouldn’t have thought twice.
Queen of Hearts Pesto
- 2-4 cups basil leaves, depending on what you have
- The juice of 1.5 limes
- 1/2 cup macadamias, chopped (I used raw, but would definitely have roasted them)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Put basil, lime-juice, garlic and macadamias into a food processor. Begin to blend.
- As the mixture becomes an even consistency, drizzle in the olive oil until it becomes a true paste (or sauce-like consistency)
- Add 2 tbsp of water, continue to blend.