Bush Basil is a dwarf plant with fine, glossy leaves. Very compact and sturdy, bush basil has an almost bonsai-like appearance and its aroma has hints of cinnamon, clove, and anise. It is the preferred variety of basil to use when making pesto, especially in Liguria. Ligurians almost make a religion of their devotion to pesto sauce and its main ingredient, fresh basil.
Pesto derives from the Latin term, pestire, which translates literally as “to mash or crush.” There is no uniformity of opinion as to the best recipe for pesto. Every village and every family has their own. However, the basic ingredients common to all pesto in Italy include basil, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino. These ingredients can either be crushed traditionally, by using a mortar and pestle, or pulsed with the aid of a food processor.
Recipe Suggestion: Trofie al Pesto con Castagne e Zucchini