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basil-001

Above you see the Basil That Will Not Quit. We bought this remarkable plant a couple of months ago at Trader Joe’s, thinking that it would behave like all our previous basil pets. We used to broadcast seeds in the old wash-tubs-turned-planters outside our house in Rapallo. The plants flourished in the high summer heat, then the leaves would begin to get tougher and have a slightly bitter flavor, and then the plant would bolt. Not this plant. This basil keeps growing taller and taller (almost 2 feet in the photo). We whack it back to make pesto and it just says, Fine, watch this! and grows a foot in two days. (Speedy removed a lot of it just before I took this photo.) It would be nice to take full credit for the plant’s vigor and health, but it came with its own vigor, and only the daily watering by caring neighbors (thank you Linda and Laura) kept it alive while we were gone for two weeks.

The other day as Speedy was having his afternoon bob-and-read in our community pool he began to think about what he could do with all this basil. Smart Phone to the rescue! Huffington Post offered 34 Basil Recipes, some of which sounded interesting, some ghastly (basil ice cream? Well, maybe I shouldn’t condemn it til we’ve tried it). Way down at #23 was Edamame Basil Hummus.

“Hummus!” said Speedy, “what an interesting idea.” As soon as we got home he put together his own take on Basil Hummus:

basil hummus

It’s one of those recipes where you’re going to have to find your own way with measurements – do what feels right to you, what gives you the consistency you prefer.

Put in a food processor:
A LOT of basil
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup to a can of beans
1 can of canellinni beans, drained
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste

Whiz it all up and then sit down with your favorite dipping tool and enjoy. We used crusts of old dried bread and some stale tortilla chips. It was so good we couldn’t stop eating it, so then we put it on the gorgeous pork roast Speedy had done to golden perfection the BBQ. I imagine it would also be wonderful with crudites.  Or you may want to just sit down with a spoon and pretend it’s soup. It’s that good.