Because basil is finicky to grow from seed outdoors—and doesn’t last as long once it gets going—we’re currently on our second planting of basil in the indoor Aerogarden, timed (hopefully) to coincide with the ripening of our larger heirloom tomatoes. Unfortunately, this means we’re currently having to buy basil, as I did for a lemon-basil cake I made for a party this past weekend. Do you have any idea how much basil costs in the store? Either $1.99 for a few limp sprigs packed into a plastic clamshell case, or upward of $3.50 for a “hydroponically grown” (with, incomprehensibly, dirt clods attached to the roots) or living bunch. You’d better believe I’m using every last minuscule leaf of that stuff. All I had left was enough for a sprinkling over this vaguely Greek-inspired pasta, which is good hot but even better cold as a salad. I must say, though, the basil completely made the dish, and may have earned it a spot in our regular rotation once the home-grown basil gets going.
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• All-purpose flour: $8.05/400 oz. = 2 cents/oz., 10 cents/cup
• Apples: 78 cents/lb. (about 40 cents per apple)
• Arborio rice: $1.85/lb.
• Bacon: $2.75/lb. = 17 cents/oz.
• Beans (black): 99 cents/lb.
• Beans (navy): $1.08/lb.
• Butter (unsalted): $2 for 4 sticks: 6 cents/T
• Buttermilk: $1.49/quart = 37 cents/cup
• Canola oil: $8.99/160 oz. = 6 cents/oz. or 3 cents/T
• Carrots: 50 cents/lb., 15 carrots/lb. = 3 cents/carrot
• Celery: 99 cents/10 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Chicken (and beef) broth base: $6.89/16 oz. = 43 cents/oz., 21.5 cents/T, 7 cents/tsp (1 tsp = 8 oz.)
• Chickpeas: $1.49/lb. = 9 cents/oz.
• Farro: $1.69/lb. = 11 cents/oz.
• Garlic: 25 cents/head, 12 cloves: 2 cents/clove
• Half & half: $2.39/quart = 60 cents/cup
• Lemongrass: 53 cents/6 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Milk: $1.99/gallon = 16 cents/cup
• Oats: 25 cents/lb., 1 oz./half cup = 2 cents per 1/2 cup
• Olive oil: $22.79/203 oz. = 11 cents/oz. or 5.5 cents/T
• Onions: 49 cents/lb. (about 25 cents per large onion)
• Parmesan: $2.50/8 oz., 31 cents/oz.
• Pine nuts: $15.32/lb., about $1.30 for 2 T
• Porcini (dried): $4.03/oz.
• Quinoa: $4.29/lb.
• Shallots: 99 cents/lb. (about 87 cents for 1 very large shallot)
• Shiitake (dried): 51 cents/oz.
• Salt (kosher): $1.25/48 oz. = 3 cents/oz.
• Sugar (granulated): 52 cents/lb., 23 cents/cup