What do I do with so much basil from my garden?

Many of our clients have gotten a second chance crop thanks to the wonderful weather this fall. We have been enjoying lots of wonderful harvests of basil, peppers and tomatoes plus some summer squash but winter is tiptoeing toward our gardens. We are often asked, “What do we do with so much basil?” There are many ways to use your basil besides pesto but this also reminded me of some great recipes that we have been enjoying lately. I have even added in our famous squash relish for those of you who have squash.

Here is what is going on in the Bohemian kitchen:

Green Tomato Relish
12 large green Tomatoes (cored) or 20 small to med size
4 – green bell peppers, seeded
4 – medium yellow onions (I used one very large one)
1 – red bell pepper, seeded
1 – tablespoon + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 – tablespoon celery seed
2 – cups cider vinegar
2 – cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Chop the tomatoes and peppers very finely. Either by hand or in small batches in a food processor. I diced up all my veggies only because I like a chunkier relish. Put the chopped vegetables in a large pot (heavy bottom non reactive pot) add the mustard seed, celery seed, vinegar, kosher salt and sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook stirring often and skimming as needed. ( I did not have to skim off anything) Simmer until the relish/chow chow cooks down and thickens into a relish, about 2 hours. Turn into hot sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath.

Squash RelishSquash Relish (This is one of our most requested items)

10 cups squash (summer types are best but young butternuts work well too)
4 large onions
1 large green pepper
4-5 jalapeno peppers

Chop up above ingredients in food processor (diced). Spread on 13 in by 9 in baking pan (with sides) and sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons of salt. Let the diced veggies set over night. Rinse in 2 cold water rinses. Place in a large pot and add 4 and 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 and 1/2 cups vinegar, 2 Tablespoons turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed. Cook for 20 minutes. Pour into 1 pint canning jars and seal. Process in water bath 10 minutes.

Pesto and Wheat Bread for Bread Machine

Makes a 1 pound loaf. Add ingredients to machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

3/4 cup lus 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use sunflower)
1 and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup bread flour
1 cup snipped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons oat bran (optional)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds (add up to 1/2 cup if more is desired)

Fixing and Freezing Pesto (make your favorite pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays – pop them out of the tray and use them through out the next few months)

Candied Jalapenos recipe at recipezaar (favorite hot and sweet Christmas gift)

Other Recipes We Have Enjoyed