I love Basil.
Every year I attempt to grow multiple basil plants, and the Texas Sun and local wildlife quickly reduces it to scraggly, scrawny, woody stems without a single leaf free from sun damage or bug-bite. But this year, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I hit Basil Paydirt! I had basil coming out my ears!
Suddenly, I realized that between my two jobs, food blog, family and community obligations- the basil had gotten away from me! I awoke to a familiar scent in the air that indicated the weather was about to “turn”, and my basil’s viable days were numbered. Fearing I would never again grow a successful basil plant, I frantically developed an action plan to utilize my Basil Bounty for the months to come.
When I start a new ferment I prefer to add a little “mojo” from an already established brew. Because my fermentation kick started a couple of months ago, I just HAPPENED to have several batches of fermented garlic bubbling away.
Naturally, I wanted to use my fermented garlic to preserve my pesto.
This is totally optional.
You can use fresh, raw garlic and it will eventually ferment in the brine within the pesto.
Also, you can use the pesto immediately, rather than waiting for it to ferment. It is your journey 😉
*Do research about hygiene, contamination and possible risks of fermenting foods. Weigh the benefits of probiotics and fermented foods vs the possible hazards. Make informed decisions. This is merely a recipe that I enjoy and the methods I use. Proceed at your own risk.
Fermented Sweet Basil and PumpkinSeed Pesto
(makes 3 pints)
6 cups basil leaves (packed)
1/2 cup fermented garlic and brine
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs dried hijiki seaweed (optional)
3 Tbs sea salt
4 cups filtered/purified/non-chlorinated water