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The Flavor of Summer

June 30, 2008

If there’s one herb that says “summer” to me, it’s Basil. I love to use it for cooking. On Saturday I went to the Bel Air Farmers’ Market. I found some beautiful Basil and gorgeously plump red tomatoes. Last night we ate some of the tomatoes sliced with basil and fresh mozzarella. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, it melted in our your mouth! Now I’m going to use the rest of the Basil to make pesto!

Pesto is one of my favorite things to make in the summer. I plan on freezing some this year in ice cubes and then store in freezer bags. It’s easy to use pesto in place of tomato sauce on pizzas topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onions, or mix with whole grain pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp. Here’s the recipe I use for Pesto:

2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, stems discarded, rinsed, and dried

Salt to taste (I prefer sea salt)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet (I use walnuts)

1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil, or more

1. Combine the basil, salt, garlic, nuts, and about half of the oil in a food processor or blender.

2. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container occasionally, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add additional oil if you prefer a thinner mixture

From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

Do you have some favorite recipes featuring Basil?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. bethyoung permalink
    June 30, 2008 3:28 pm

    I too love Basil. You always out do yourself 🙂 You make the pictures look amazing, the recipes easy and I love it!

  2. June 30, 2008 4:16 pm

    I love the tomato, mozzarella, basil dish you posted above!

  3. June 30, 2008 5:21 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I may try freezing it, too, as I have a basil plant this year.

  4. June 30, 2008 9:55 pm

    that looks delicious. a perfect light summer meal to eat on the front patio in front of the fire pit. 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  5. July 1, 2008 1:58 pm

    I am buying the ingredients today for the salad..and will be using the recipe for pesto in the near future. I’m on my way to live in Scotland for 3 years…so we shall see what I can make over there.

  6. July 9, 2008 11:22 am

    Oh my goodness!!! I’m so hungry now.

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