By far, the most overwhelmingly successful thing we grew this summer was the genovese basil. Started from seed, we ended up with 4 huge plants over 3' tall and about 2-3' around. I've been using as much as I can throughout the season - caprese salads, fresh basil in tomato sauces, with fish, with my eggplant, & in scrambled eggs with feta (yum) & giving it away in handfuls.
Recently, it's started to get a bit chilly around here - even close to freezing one night last week, so I'm scrambling to cut the basil while I can and find ways to use it! Some of it has already developed some black spots from getting too cold. But it does make a beautiful bouquet. :)
It also makes for some delicious and easy recipes - perfect for a beginner cook like me. First, I tried a new basil marinade (recipe here) and, wow, it is delicious. I used about half of the bunch pictured above & it made about 3 cups, so I froze two in Ball Freezer Containers. What I didn't freeze was used tonight on some chicken and cauliflower, which the boyfriend devoured while raving about the marinade! It's also quite good as a simple salad dressing. Plus it's a beautiful shade of alien goo green. Definitely a keeper for the recipe file.
The rest of the cuttings went to a simple, but delicious pesto, which also went into the freezer and, along with the previous batch, should last us several months.
There's still a bunch of basil out there because I knew I couldn't use it all last weekend and, frankly, I'm still having a hard time admitting it's season is over. :P Maybe I'll get bold and try to go all Top Chef with a basil ice cream! (though I wouldn't have any idea if it tasted as it should, it sounds like a delicious experiment) Or maybe I'll be lazy and it will go into the dehydrator. ;D