So as promised here is the all exclusive post about basil. It truly is a wonderful herb. Fact of the matter is I use a lot of basil. For awhile I was foolishly buying the “fresh” basil in the little plastic cartridges on a needed basis, but those tiny little packs of not-so-fresh basil cost a good $3.00 and don’t last nearly long enough for all my basil cravings. Luckily, grocery stores have a solution for people like me and they now sell live plants!! I will confess my first shot at the live plant did not go over so well and I had to throw basil #1 away, but basil #2 is flourishing! Don’t believe me? Look at this!
So as you can see I had a lot of basil on my hands. SO much basil in fact I made my dishes for the week center around the fact that I had basil. In the following you will find just a few of the ways I used some of my bountiful basil plant up. Enjoy!
To start, one way to use a lot of basil at once is to make pesto refer back to my entry Pesto! Pesto! for that particular recipe. You’ll also find another fantastic use for pesto there 🙂 See, my love for basil is not new found.
NOTE: You can freeze your pesto! Just omit the cheese when you make it and freeze it up in an ice cube tray. Pop out the frozen cubes and store in a freezer bag. Add the cheese in after you defrost it for use 🙂
A classic recipe that you can never go wrong with.
1 whole wheat pita
4 slices of tomato
1 Tablespoon pesto
A few slices of mozzarella
a few basil leaves
1) Open pita and spread the pesto over one side (or both if you are a pesto fiend). Layer mozzarella, basil and tomato into pita
2) Cook on a griddle until cheese is good and melted. Make sure you flip it so both sides of the pita get toasted.
It’s really that easy. Tastiest, best, quick dinner ever. One note, spend the extra few bucks to get the freshest mozzarella you can, you won’t regret it.
So the following recipe can be super simple or you can challenge yourself and make your own gnocchi. Inspiration for this recipe came from the fact that 1) I had a lot of basil and therefore a lot of pesto to use 2) I really wanted to try to make gnocchi and 3) I love the combination of B.M.T. and will use it as often as possible…
Now if you want to be simple about this recipe and are impatient to get to the yummy goodness of it you can buy gnocchi at your local grocery store. But if you are like me and like experimenting in the kitchen and want to test out your culinary skills check out this recipe for gnocchi. I found it fairly easy to follow and if you are feeling really inspired you can look at her pesto recipe that is straight from an Italian grandmother (I cheat and use a food processor, she does all the chopping by hand… you’ve got to have some nice sharp knives to do that without getting frustrated.)
Little fact, did you know that gnocchi can be made with potato or ricotta?? I’d like to try making it with ricotta sometime, I’ll let you know how it turns out if I ever get around to it.
So if you are anything like me you always make more food than you need. Especially if you are always cooking for one person. Well the wonderful thing about gnocchi is that it easily freezes! Just lay out the gnocchi in a single layer on a cookie sheet on a sheet of wax paper and then freeze them. Once they are frozen just put them in a freezer bag and pull out as needed. No need to defrost either. Complicated homemade gnocchi becomes simple homemade gnocchi.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…How exactly do you make that oh so beautiful dish that I have tantalized your tastes buds with since beginning this topic of gnocchi…
1 1/2 tablespoons pesto, or enough to coat your gnocchi
1 small tomato diced
1/4 cup mozzarella, large shreds
enough gnocchi to satisfy your belly
1) Toss gnocchi with pesto.
2) Toss gnocchi with tomato.
3) Sprinkle with mozzarella shreds.
An elegant simple recipe to impress a date with 🙂 Don’t forget the garlic bread!
Fatty Bear’s White Veggie Pizza
I’m a HUGE fan of white pizza, and unfortunately DC isn’t really known for having white pizza, or at least not how I like it. Yes, I am being a bit of a princess… Anyways I have a feeling you won’t be offended by my princess attitude of having pizza a particular way once you try this pizza.
1 pilsbury pizza crust, it’s in the refrigerator section.
fresh spinach leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1 small tomato, sliced or diced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil, mix in a dash of crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder
1) Roll out the pizza crust onto pizza sheet or baking sheet. Preheat oven according to package instructions
2) Coat crust with pesto sauce. Use as much as your little fatty bear heart desires 🙂
3) Layer with spinach leaves. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Add on other toppings of red pepper, broccoli, and tomato. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
4) With a pastry brush, brush the olive oil mixture on the outer crust. Bake for about 18-20 minutes.
I like to imagine I’m eating healthy when I have this pizza. I mean look at all the veggies on there!
I have one last recipe to share…
At this moment I don’t have a picture of this refreshing creation, but I promise to post one as soon as it is made again.
This recipe is a creation of guest writer Scruffy Bear. It’s a sweet way to take advantage of the bountiful produce of summer.
2 cups watermelon, cubed (I wish I had a video of how Scruffy cuts his watermelon, it’s super cool! It makes a girl want to get down on one knee and propose, which apparently is not a good reason to get married, go figure 😉 )
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large leaves basil, chopped
1) Heat water and sugar in a sauce pan to make a simple sugar syrup.
2) Place chunks of watermelon and basil in a food processor or blender. You may have to do this in batches. Pour in your simple sugar syrup, let your kitchen appliance do it’s work.
3) Pour blended watermelon mixture into a large bowl. Place in freezer for about 1 hour to chill. You don’t want it to freeze completely.
4) Pour into cups and serve! mmmm refreshingly good!
ALTERNATE USE: If you feel in the mood for a granita instead, pour the blended watermelon mixture into ice cube trays and let it freeze. Once frozen give the cubes a quick blend in a food processor or blender to give it a more water ice texture.
Well friends, that concludes our many adventures with basil! Tune in later for Bubba Burley’s Curry. Enjoy!