Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From My Herb Garden - Basil




Basil just might be my favorite summer herb. I plant it among the tomatoes where it flourishes. There are lots of kinds of basil, but I like the standard variety - I don't even know its name. I recently made my first batch of basil pesto and put it into small containers into the freezer. It's so delicious stirred into pasta, or into the pan juices of chicken with a little cream added for a wonderful sauce. I also like it spread on a sliced baguette and toasted under the broiler.


Zucchini Vegetable Medley is another place to use basil, combining the summer flavors of zucchini, corn and tomatoes. The photo above is the dish before baking it. It's a great thing to do ahead and then finish up at the last minute. 



A Layered Tomato Salad is a great way to use basil. If you use goat or sheep cheese there's a good chance lactose sensitive people will be able to eat it. Several of our friends can't eat cow's milk cheeses, but these others are fine. Tomatoes are best fresh from the garden, but I'll have to wait awhile until ours ripen, meanwhile, the vine-ripened ones from the market taste just fine. I've made this twice in the past 10 days.

Basil. Do you grow it? How do you use it?

20 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I usually have it on my windowsill. I do have one potted outdoors and my favourite ways to use it is paired with fresh or vine ripened tomatoes and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkled on a thin crust pizza or in pasta. The last two I have not eaten for awhile as I am point counting on WW!
Your pictures are making me very hungry!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Now that makes my mouth water! I love tomato/basil/cheese combos. I have plenty of basil in the garden...and I think I'll use some today.

Elizabethd said...

I grow pots of the 'ordinary' basil, and use it on tomato and mozarella, salads, cheeses etc. I' m also sowing ruffled basil!

Andrea Dawn said...

I have never used fresh basil . . . you make me want to try it.

GretchenJoanna said...

I have made something very like your tomato salad, with cherry tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts on top.
We also slather basil pesto on fresh steamed green beans.

Vee said...

Yes, I have grown it and wish, after reading this, that I had some this year. I don't. I usually just toss some into a salad and call it good.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Yummy! I actually bought some chopped frozen basil recently but haven't done anything with it yet. I do love a nice fresh pesto with wheat pasta. You are so blessed to have such lovely things growing in your garden (lavender, too). :) Best wishes, Tammy

Donna said...

We always grow a couple of pots of it every year. I trim it frequently for various recipes! The smell is heavenly.

Friko said...

Basil, the king of herbs, by name and by importance. I love it.

Sarah said...

I do grow it. I would love your recipe for the pesto. My favorite is to use it in Caprese which I prefer to top with Bufala. A mozzarella made from water buffalo milk. A little pricey but so creamy and delicious.

ellen b. said...

Yum. My brain now thinks it's time for dinner!

Happy@Home said...

Your photos are just beautiful, Lorrie. Both of these recipes are right up my alley. So summery and fresh.
I mainly use my basil for making pesto. We love it on a good piece of crusty bread or sometimes as a sauce over pasta. I like your idea of adding it to the chicken drippings. Must try that.
As a side note, since you recently posted about the use of lemon balm, I was wondering if you read the Beauty That Moves blog? She has a post today about making lemon balm jelly with honey.

Bonnie said...

I can't imagine summer without basil. Tomatoes...basil the best combination.

Marilyn said...

Love basil layers with tomatoes and goat cheese. Definitely a wonderful summer food.

Chy said...

I love basil but have never grown it. Great job Lorrie!!

Cheryl said...

Basil is one of my favorite herbs in my herb garden too, Lorrie! (Rosemary is the other.) I made pesto for the first time last summer...oh so good! Caprese salad (similar to your layered tomato one) is a family favorite, but so is pesto. Pesto spread on a pizza crust in place of the traditional tomato-based sauce is quite popular!

Debbie said...

It's my very favorite summer herb too, and it's also one that I always have success growing. That layered tomato salad looks delicious!

Cristal said...

I plant my basil under the tomatoes too. It's doing well this year and I'm about ready to make my first batch of pesto.

Jill said...

I've never made pesto with ours yet but boy do I love a caprese salad with mozzarella cheese and basil!

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I'm drooling, both recipes look great, I'm going to give them a try.

Jen