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GARDEN GOODIES: Cucumbers with basil pesto

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On this week's segment of Garden Goodies, the Wake Up crew enjoyed cucumbers with basil pesto.

Cucumbers are a common vegetable that is fairly easy to grow if you have rich soil, or use a decent amount of fertilizer when planted in poor soil.

Justin said in his garden the soil was poor and it took a couple of years to build up the soil, find the right fertilizer, and harvest a good amount of cucumbers. Interestingly it is a member of the gourd family.

If you grow it, you will notice that it is a vining plant like gourds and the leaves look a lot like other gourds such as squash. A well taken care-of cucumber plant needs a good amount of space to spread out.

Basil is a common herb that originated in India and has been known for at least 4,000 years. It has been associated with religion and medicine throughout history but is mostly a culinary delight in the modern day.

It is related to other herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and sage. There are about 150 different varieties grown today, with Italian basil and Thai basil being the most common. It is often used in Italian-inspired dishes.

Ingredients for basil pesto:

  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh basil
  • Lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)
  • Fresh garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

There is no standard amount of these ingredients to blend together (there are many guides/recipes online that use similar ingredients). Usually, Justin experiments with the ratio of ingredients until finding the right flavor.

If you don't have a lot of basil, use spinach to add bulk to your pesto and you will get a larger amount.

Neena Pacholke

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