BASIL is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods. Since pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, has become common, basil has become even more popular. More than 60 varieties of basil are known, all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste. While the taste of sweet basil is bright and pungent, other varieties also offer unique tastes: lemon basil, anise basil and cinnamon basil all have flavors that subtly reflect their name. Sweet basil is the most prevalent in Italian dishes because of its subtle flavor when used with tomatoes. Thai basil (or holy basil) is often used to add flavor to Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian fare.
PINCH OF WISDOM: Christian personalities are even more varied than basil varieties. God has created us all unique in our own way, and each of us has a distinct personality and purpose. Much like the different flavors of basil, Christians can reflect their own specific flavor as they intermingle with others. As the 60 varieties are all basil so are the many Christians all Christ followers. Yet God uses each person in a distinct and personal way to flavor the world around us.
TASTE OF SCRIPTURE: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
SPINACH BASIL PESTO
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.