Last night Steve made a fabulous pesto with some of our homegrown African Blue Basil.
Before the ordinary Sweet Basil shut down for winter, our pestos would use a combo of the two basils, along with some parsley (Italian or English), but the African basil is a tender perennial and can last for years in our Mediterranean climate. It has a stronger flavor than its annual cousins -- very welcome on a winter evening -- and so holds its own with a liberal infusion of garlic and a firm penne pasta.
How sweet it is to have one's own herb garden with two kinds of tarragon (French and Russian), oregano (Greek and Italian), thyme (English and 'silver'), chives (garlic and plain) and the aforementioned pair of parsleys (plus cilantro). It's a veritable U.N. of plants supporting our multicultural cuisine.
Even weeding the herb garden brings special rewards. Heady rushes of fragrance evoke remembrance of great meals and promise many more to come.