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Basil

I'm looking for basil to make pesto. Any suggestions? I am looking for a large bundle

thank you

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  1. Many small fruit/veg stores now carry bunches of basil year-round. I'm in the Yonge/Eg area and there are several spots around here that carry reasonably large bunches of basil for between 99 cents and $1.99.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Yongeman

      thanks yongeman. I live in the area. any specific suggestions? thanks

      1. re: DB2001

        If you can wait till June,that's when basil is in season. Whatever you do don't buy it at the Metro at Young&Eglinton.

        1. re: DB2001

          Sure, DB2001.
          The fruit and veg store on the east side of Yonge, just south of Erskine has a bucket of basil sitting at the cash for 99 cents a bag. Also, the F and V store which is closest to Salumeria, also on the east side usually has bunches (whole plants, I think) for $1.99. If you're making a lot, Costco has large bags of pine nuts for something like $24...not sure of the weight, though. I love pesto.

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          Salumeria
          2021 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

      2. You can purchase large bundles of lovely, fresh basil downstairs at the fruit & veggie vendor. The only caution I'd offer is that they tend to be "gritty" because the root balls are attached. You'll need to give them a good soak in water first. The up-side of having the root ball attached is that you can plunk your bundles in jars of water and they'll keep for some time.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          thanks breadcrumbs. Downstairs from where?

          1. re: DB2001

            It's centred between the Chinese take-out and the juice bar. Not the organic shop.

            1. re: DB2001

              Breadcrumbs is referring to the lower level of SLM.

              1. re: Wahooty

                Ooops! Thanks so much Wahooty, you're absolutely right!!

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Thanks guys. I was hoping to make it tomorrow. Any suggestions of places that are open Mondays?

          2. Is it difficult to find basil in most major supermarkets? I usually shop at asian supermarkets and it is always there. Didn't know it was hard to find.

            1 Reply
            1. re: szw

              Most supermarkets package basil in small containers, so it's not easy to buy enough when you are making pesto. It's more convenient and cheaper to buy it by the whole plant as it's often available a smaller fruit/veg stores.

            2. Virtually every green grocer in Kensington Market has it year round.

              1. The basil in my garden has been poor this year and I don't have enough to make my annual batch of pesto. Has anyone recently seen large bunches of basil at a farmers market?

                4 Replies
                1. re: principessa del pisello

                  Peak basil season is long past. No I have not seen any large bunches recently.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    The greengrocer in Pickering, across from T. Phat (the old Knob Hill location) usually sells large basil plants, with roots, late in the season for around $3.
                    I have not been there this year, so YMMV.

                    1. re: jayt90

                      Thanks Jayt90. That's exactly what I'm looking for but I live in the west of the city. I might try the farmers market at Etobicoke Civic Centre on Saturday.

                      1. re: principessa del pisello

                        My basil has been slow this year, so I will take in 6 plants in large pots and place them under two 40 watt tubes, just 6" away , and grow under lights 24 hrs/day until I get a crop. The plants will stay alive after harvesting, and can be put outside in May for an early crop.