All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Inhale: the scent of basil

Does any herb intoxicate the senses like summer basil? Inhale - and smile.
Pasta salad with basil, sun-warmed tomatoes, and artichokes:
To hot, drained vermicelli add:
Gently diced fresh tomatoes
As much sliced fresh basil as you want
A good drizzle of olive oil
Several squeezes of fresh lemon
chopped artichoke hearts from a jar
Kosher salt and pepper
Pesto pasta:
If you have a cup of basil leaves, you can make pesto. This makes about 3/4's of a cup of pesto.
3 garlic cloves
1 cup basil leaves, firmly packed then sliced
about 1/2 - 3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( or none, or more)
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
juice of a half a fresh lemon
Place the garlic cloves in a food processor and chop finely. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth. This is highly adaptable to individual tastes - so feel free to experiment.
You can scrape this into a jam jar and stick in the freezer until January - when it will bring a smile to your face and a reminder of sweet summer days.
Or you can just toss gently with hot pasta and dig in. Use a little ( a few tablespoons) or a lot, like the whole jar:)


Martha said...

I think I could put basil in anything!!!! It's a favorite summer food! And makes for simple meals!

katrina said...

Me, too, Martha! It's great in omelets, stuffing mushrooms, mixed with plain yogurt for a dip, in quiche, frittata, on fish or chicken, or just a nice chunk of rustic bread. Easy peezey.

Barb said...

Ahhhhh! basil is truly a favorite. I just made pesto for the second time this summer - delicious!!!

I wonder where pesto was when I was a kid?? I'd never heard of it back then (the Dark Ages, I guess!), but since the first time I ever had it I think I fell in love with it!

Your pasta salad looks delicious too. I'm going to give it a try on one of these hot summer days - the artichokes sound like a great addition.

Anonymous said...

My basil is doing very well this year. I also like to add it in everything. Also had some lemon basil that was very tasty. Basil turns a simple meal into a special one.

Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen said...

That's precisely why I named my blog...Sweet Basil Kitchen! My favorite herb!

katrina said...

Good question, Barb! I can't even remember when I first had pesto. Nevermind, it's definitely a gift from Heaven and the Gods...

katrina said...

Kirsten - around here, the basil is suffering from sunburn - too many really hot days and no rain, and even watering them daily hasn't helped. Sunburnt leaves and stunted growth ( including the lemon basil I bought that hasn't grown even an inch). Luckily, my fave farmer at the market had a lovely bunch so I could go over the top on a "whoo hoo, let's celebrate basil day" !
You are so right that fresh basil makes a meal remarkable!

katrina said...

Jane! What a lovely blog and looking at your beautiful salad with that Isola Cream of Balsamic made me hungry all over again. Thanks for popping in to see MY salad ♥