January 25, 2018 This week’s farm veggie recipe idea:
4 Ingredients, Ready in 10 Minutes
Included in box: tomatoes, onion
Winter Season Greenhouse Tomatoes with your Windowsill Basil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil optional
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1-3 large cloves of garlic chopped very finely
- 7 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 handful of basil leaves and stalks are fine
- 2 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper adjust to taste
Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the oil.
When hot add the onions and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring every few minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and are soft.
Remove from the heat and add basil and salt and pepper.
Blitz in a blender or with a stick blender until smooth,
I have tried this recipe with large tomatoes and grape/cherry tomatoes and it works well with both, or even a mixture of the two.
Step 1: Buy one or two bunches of basil (usually about three plants are inside each package). Growing basil in water during the winter months is actually preferable, as you don’t have to worry about your soil molding.
Step 2: Choose a planter. You’ll need a planter of some kind and the most frugal option is to use something you already have at home. I have a thing for Mason jars, especially the vintage blue ones. Make sure your jar is washed and rinsed well. The quart size work best as they’re taller and offer more support for the basil.
Step 3: Add water. Put about an inch of water (Note: we’re on our own well, but if you’re on city water or have chlorine in your water, you’ll need to use non-treated water) in the bottom of your jar. You don’t have to add liquid silica, but because silica is normally found in soil, the addition of it will help the cell structure of your plant. It’s available at most nurseries and plant stores. It comes very concentrated, so just a drop is all you’ll need in each jar.
Step 4: Place your basil plants in the water. Find your warmest and sunniest window, usually this is a southern exposure side of the house. Because your plants have been inside a store with very little sunlight, don’t be alarmed if they leaves seem wilted and shriveled the first few days. Place the plant in the window and wait a week. All but one of mine perked up after some TLC in the sunlight.
Be sure you don’t place the basil against the glass or allow the leaves to touch it. The glass will be quite a bit cooler than the air and can kill the plant, especially during night time temps. If an exceptionally cold night is in the forecast, you should move your plants out of the window sill onto the counter where it’s warmer overnight.
Replace the water about every week or two.
Once your basil is doing well in it’s new home, you’ll want to harvest it. Now, harvesting basil isn’t hard, but here’s a few tips to ensure the continued growth of your herbs. Contrary to what you’d think, leave the large bottom leaves of basil on the bottom alone. These are what feed your plant.
Once you’ve got pairs of leaves at the top of your plant in a few tiers, pinch off leaves directly above a pair. This will cause two new shoots to grow, creating more leaves, and a bushier stronger plant.