One great place to check out is Slegers Organics in Strathroy (7496 Calvert Drive). They've been growing organic living greens (year-round) in their greenhouses since 2004. I was there on the weekend and picked up some green leaf lettuce and some basil. There was lots more available too; like kale, arugula, cilantro, romaine lettuce, wheatgrass, etc.. The price was right too - very reasonable. (note: they're open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays only - see: www.slegersgreens.com)
As soon as I saw that they had basil I knew I had to get some. And then when I got home I just had to make some pesto for dinner. Mmmm....pesto....reminds me of summer....
Here's a recipe for traditional pesto:
-2 cups or so of fresh basil leaves
-1/4 cup pine nuts (or whatever nut you have on hand - I use sliced almonds)
-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Blend the ingredients together in a food processor, adding more oil as required until the mixture becomes smooth.
There are many ways to use pesto - on pizza instead of using tomato sauce, on grilled shrimp, as a marinade for chicken, in mashed potatoes, mixed with mayonnaise for a great sandwich spread, and on pasta (of course).
The best part is that there is so much nutrition in this dish of pasta with the good fats from the nuts and oil and the vitamins and antioxidants from the basil. All four food groups are in there - protein, dairy, grains, and vegetable!