Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet Basil

I simply love Basil. I'm thinking that it's about time to use up what's growing in the pots next to my patio.......it's September and the leaves won't last all that much longer. I would sure hate for them to go to waste, especially since it is one of the few things I decided to grow this year. This morning I did a little planning in order to make the most of the last two or three weeks of this beautiful and fragrant herb.

We've been using basil all summer long in a variety of salads, including the very simple but so very satisfying caprese, which is especially wonderful when the heirloom tomatoes are meaty and ripe at the Farmer's Market. It has also made its way into dips, pasta, sauces and the occasional fritatta or scrambled egg. I keep meaning to track down a recipe for Basil-Lime Sorbet. I was served this a few years ago at a dinner party and am still thinking about it! 

This morning I picked three cups and made a double recipe of pesto which is sitting covered in my fridge until this evening, when I'll use it to make Penne With Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans. If the remainder doesn't get used up within the next couple of days, I'll freeze it to use in a few weeks. Last year we discovered a favorite sandwich to make with holiday leftover's: Turkey, cranberry sauce, provolone and pesto on sourdough, grilled in a panini maker. Did I really just mention the holidays?! Yikes!

My plan for tomorrow is to harvest another cup or so to make up a double batch of Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, a recipe from Ina Garten's cookbook, How Easy Is That? Love this recipe (the cookbook, too), mostly because it's not difficult to make up or clean up, is relatively healthy and will last in the fridge for a week or so. In case you're interested: I usually make it thicker than called for to use it as a veggie dip, then thin it out a bit for dressing a salad.

I linked the two recipes I mentioned to this post. Let me know if you try them out!

Have a wonderful week!

Warmly, Margaret

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