I have to admit, before this garden project, I rarely used fresh herbs in my cooking. But now that I can step outside my door to pick them, I love experimenting with cooking with fresh herbs. Basil has always been a favorite, so I tried making pesto for the first time.
It was delicious! We ate it on pasta, with a garnish of grape tomatoes from the garden. I used a recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook. A local Gainesville publication called "Hogtown HomeGrown" suggests this way to freeze basil and have fresh basil flavor all year long:
Place 6 cups of fresh basil leaves, no stems, in a food processor. Begin chopping and then stream in 1 cup of olive oil. Process to desired consistency. Scoop into plastic freezer bag and seal out air. When you need some fresh basil taste, just break off a chunk and add to whatever you are cooking. The basil maintains its color and flavor, but not the texture, so don't plan to use it as you would the raw herb.
If you don't have land to grow basil, you can still grow it in pots. Just remember to water and fertilize it!