Monday, July 18, 2011

From Farm to Table

Or in my case, from pot to table!

Why pay for fresh herbs when you and mother nature can grow them for FREE on your own?  This spring, I planted some basil seeds in a big pot, watered them meticulously, gave them as much sun as I could, and crossed my fingers.  With a little help from the rain and my green-thumbed sister who babysat the plants while I was away, I came home from Europe with a big pot of...

basil!

Being able to walk outside, pluck a few leaves and add them to my daily recipes has been so enjoyable.  I love the way my hands smell after harvesting.  And to my surprise, the more you take from this plant, the more it gives in return!  It's almost as if it appreciates the daily grooming.  Anyway, here are some dishes I jazzed up with my fresh basil plant. 

 Fried eggs on toast (teggs) with basil

 Veggie stir-fry with basil leaves

 Grilled cheese with fresh basil

Fresh basil pesto with mozzarella cheese and salsa

I somewhat made up this pesto recipe on the fly, but you could follow most basic pesto recipes.  Pine nuts are pricey, so I use walnuts instead!


You will need...
-2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese (or add the cheese with the other ingredients in the food processor).

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Tomato-basil bruschetta on baguette

For this simple dish, just chop tomatoes and basil and mix with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of salt and pepper.  Top on a toasted baguette with melted or fresh mozzarella.  

I now have fresh dill and parsley growing and I cannot wait to add those to some more dishes.  It's not too late to get your pot started!

2 comments:

Kelly B said...

Can you come live with me? I have basil.... :)

Elizabeth said...

Haha, sure!!