Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fresh Basil

Last year I grew my first garden.  This year, the only plant I have is a basil plant that I bought at a farm store:

True story: when I was younger, the only way I would eat pasta was plain with butter.  No sauce, no nothing.  If we were out at a restaurant and they put parsley around the edge of the plate, my parents would have to send it back or else I wouldn't touch it.  When I progressed to finally eating red sauce, I would reject the plate again if I could taste too much basil in the sauce.  Luckily I've become much less high maintenance with my food.  Thank goodness, because I LOVE basil enough to present you with two basil dishes today. 

Sundried Tomato Basil Pesto w/ Spaghetti
adapted from Oh She Glows
You'll need:
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes soaked in 8 T water
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* I used sundried tomatoes that were NOT packed in oil (they are cheaper) so I put them in 8 T of water that morning to soak until I was ready to use them.  This softens them up.  If you use oil packed sundried tomatoes, you can skip the soaking step, but you still need to add 8 T of water to the pesto mixture.

Begin boiling water for your pasta.

Measure out 1/2 cup of basil.  Add to the food processor with garlic and slowly drizzle olive oil into the food processor as it's spinning. 

Add all other ingredients to the food processor except for water.  Blend together, slowly adding water one tablespoon at a time as it is mixing.  When done, add pesto to cooked and drained pasta. 

Add some extra basil, walnuts, and sundried tomatoes to the top of your sundried tomato basil pesto pasta and serve!

The second "recipe" I have for you is really just a simple lunch I like to make in the summer when basil and tomatoes are in season and fresh. 

Toast some quality bread (I used When Pigs Fly bread) and add your favorite hummus.  Layer with a few fresh basil leaves and a few halved cherry tomatoes:

So good!  I make this every week in the summer and I love it.  You can often find great homemade hummus in lots of different flavors at your local farmers market!

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