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Basil: Big Taste in a Small Space!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be steps away from the fresh flavor of your favorite herbs without having to take a trip to the grocery store? Many edible plants can be right outside your door and on your windowsill just waiting for their leaves to be picked for a nutritious home cooked meal! A favorite of my palate is the aromatic herb, basil.

This tasty morsel needs a nutrient rich soil, preferably organic, such as Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic (http://thd.co/1ORPZ02). Keep the soil moist, but well-drained, since basil doesn’t bode well with soggy roots and will rot.

If indoors, basil loves a warm, humid room by a sunny, south facing window. Make sure they get at least 6 hours of sun a day (indoor or out), or you can allow them to bask in the sun all day.

Fertilize once a month with a drink of organic fertilizer such as Espoma Organic Garden-Tone Herb & Vegetable Food (http://thd.co/1OEpPNs) and pinch back (pick often) a couple sets of top leaves to encourage new leaves. Two things will diminish the flavor of the leaves….over fertilizing & their flowers (pinch back all flowers also).

Now here’s the best part! Soon you’ll be blessed with fragrant leaves that can be either dried to put on roast chicken, made into pesto for adding to pasta dishes, or used fresh off the plant for a mouthwatering Caprese Salad. This salad is my easy go-to summertime dish and always a hit with family and friends!

Recipe:

First layer sliced, ripe tomatoes on a dish and top with sliced, fresh mozzarella (sold packed in liquid). Add a couple fresh basil leaves on each, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I tweak the recipe in favor of a tangier taste and give it a splash of balsamic vinegar. What a heavenly, refreshing treat for a hot summer day!