Book Review, Recipes

Recipe: Holy Basil Pesto

 For book club this month I read Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes, which was a pretty interested read. According to the authors, the three things that are key in an herb being considered an “adaptogen” is that it is 1) Tonic – can be taken daily long term without causing harm, 2) Have a non-specific response in the body, and 3) have a normalizing influence. Read… things that can be incorporated into your diet because they are generally considered food – like astragalus in soup and holy basil in… everything!

It’s mainly re-affirmed my love affair with Holy Basil, which is growing in a large leafy bush in my garden this summer.

Last month we decided we would continue our potluck style book club so I headed to the garden and harvested a bunch of holy basil to try my hand at making it into a pesto. I read as many blog posts and recipes on the topic as I could find, weirdly only about four… maybe my search terms were off.

As usual, I then tossed out the recipes and made up my own, because as Jason tells me it’s fairly against my nature to follow a recipe. It turned out pretty delicious and everyone’s eyes lit up when I said I had brought enough to share with book club goers and staff alike.


Holy Basil (Tulsi) Pesto

  • 1 tightly packed cup of fresh holy basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup almonds (soaked for 20 mins or so, water discarded)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1″ block parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1/2t. granulated garlic
  • Salt (alder smoked) to taste
  • Black cracked Pepper to taste

I used an immersion blender to puree everything, but a food processor or blender would work just as well.

Toss with pasta and enjoy!

 Want to join us for book club next month? We are reading Midwest Medicinal Plants by Lisa M. Rose (available in our shop) and will meet up at the shop Thursday, August 16 from 12-1pm. See our book club facebook event for all the details and to rsvp.

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