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Windowsill Gardening
Page 1 of 2

Image: Mortar & Pestle It's no secret--using fresh herbs is one of the best ways to enhance your culinary experiences. If you've ever purchased fresh herbs at your local market, you're already aware of how pricey they can be! With a little effort and patience, you can grow an herb garden right in your own kitchen (or any other sunny spot in your home).

Before you begin, estimate how much space you can devote to this project. Herbs are quite content sharing one planter, so if space is an issue, a single container will suffice. Otherwise, use this as an opportunity to spruce up your windowsill with an assortment of decorative pots.

Next you should decide which herbs you want to grow and whether you want to begin from seed. While it's certainly rewarding to watch a plant develop, it will take weeks before you see results and even longer to put your herbs to use!

Another method to consider is using stem cuttings to start your plants. If you've been purchasing fresh herbs from the grocery store, this is a perfect use for those leftover sprigs. Simply put the clippings in a jar of water until roots grow, at which point they can put in soil.

And finally, if the growing process doesn't fascinate you or you prefer to skip ahead to the end product, stop by your local garden center and purchase the plants of your choice. This will allow you the shortest time between planting and harvesting. Rebecca's Garden has put together a checklist of the materials you will need to get started no matter which method you choose.


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4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped toasted pinenuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp freshly grated Romano cheese
4 tbsp butter, softened

In a food processor or blender, add the garlic, salt, and pinenuts and whirl just to chop the garlic. Then add the basil leaves and olive oil, processing until smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides from time to time). Add the cheeses and butter just to blend.

Toss with 1 lb. of your favorite pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. This sauce freezes well, so make plenty while the basil is in season!

Serves 4 to 6.

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