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Pan Seared Potatoes w/ a Basil-Garlic Aoili

There is something about potatoes that makes me happy.  They are the ultimate comfort food.  I don’t think I will ever tire of them. I just so happen to have gotten some pretty new potatoes in my CSA box and decided to whip myself up some for a late night supper.

I decided to steam them to cook them, then pan seared them in olive oil.  This gave the potatoes a creamy center with a wonderful crispy outside. Yum!  I made a quick aoili with some left over lemon basil to top it all off.

Supplies:

  • New potatoes, cleaned and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • S&P

For the Aoili:

  • 1/2 C low-fat mayo
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • S&P
  • Skim milk (optional)

Steam your potatoes until you can stick a knife in the center easily.  Let cool to room temperature.

In a large skillet add potatoes to hot oil cut side down.  Don’t touch and let sear for 2-3 minutes or until a nice golden brown. Flip over and sear the other side.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make the aioli:

In a food processor chop the basil and garlic together until fine.  Add to mayo and add lemon juice.  Mix together well and season with salt and pepper to your liking.  I like my aoili on the thinner side to make it more like a sauce so I add skim milk until I get my desired consistency.

Spoon aoili over warm potatoes and thoroughly enjoy!

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Super Lemony Linguini

When I peeked into my CSA box at the drop off site, the smell of the lemon basil hit me with full force.  Man, I love lemon basil.  On the way home I was brainstorming on what I could do with it (Yes! I actually have time for dinner tonight! woot!).  At first I was thinking lemon basil infused lemonade (Which I still might make this weekend).  The rumbles in my belly told me I was more hungry than thirsty, so I thought some more.  Then I remembered I had a small container of greek yogurt and a couple of lemons in my refrigerator…DING!

What I came up with was a wonderful summer dish.  Very light and very lemony.  I love it and I hope you do too.

Look how gorgeous this basil is!

I rushed home, opened my box, took a picture for you fine folks and got right to cooking.

Supplies:

  • 1 small container greek yogurt
  • the rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • A small handful of lemon basil (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • S&P
  • Cooked linguini.  (Save some of the cooking water)

In a mixing bowl I whisked together all the ingredients except the pasta.  Set aside

Cook and drain your pasta according to package directions (saving some of the cooking water).

Add lemon sauce to pasta and mix thoroughly.  This will thicken up so loosen with a little bit of the pasta water ( I did it by ladle fulls).

Garnish with some whole lemon basil leaves and enjoy.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)

I know it’s been done a million times.  Seriously though, it really doesn’t get any better than a fresh from the farm tomato, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil drizzled with a good olive oil.

Supplies:

  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • FRESH mozzarella, sliced
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Layer the tomato, mozzarella and basil to desired height.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I like to go very light on the salt. I love the taste of fresh mozzarella and don’t want the salt to over power it.  This is my absolute favorite salad, and I hope it becomes yours.

By the way, Highcross Farm has the best tomatoes I have ever seen. They are perfect.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Panzanella Salad

A panzanlla salad is comes from the Tuscan region of Italy and is basically a bread salad.  Typically a panzanella includes day old bread, tomatoes, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Since the wonderful HighCross Farm had some sexy lemon basil, cucumber and red onions in the box, I decided to throw those in as well. The best part was  I didn’t have to go anywhere near my stove. Score!

Since I used lemon basil, I decided to keep with the fruity flavor profile and made a vinaigrette with some orange olive oil and strawberry balsamic I got at  Oro Di Oliva.  Fantastic!

For the Panzanella:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled/seeded and diced
  • 4-5 small-medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of lemon basil
  • 5-6 sliced of day old Italian bread, cut into 1 inch sliced and diced

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablepoons, balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoons, honey
  • 5 lemon basil leaves, chopped
  • S&P to taste

In a large bowl add the cucumber, tomato, basil, and onion.  Chill in the refrigerator for an hour to let the juices of the tomato draw out.

While that chills whisk together your vinaigrette.

Add the bread and vinaigrette to cucumber/tomato  mixture. Mix well. You want the bread to sop up the vinaigrette and juice from the veg.

Note: Make sure your bread is good and stale. If you use soft bread you will get nothing but mush. You want good hard, stale bread for this salad.

Let chill again for another 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Chicken with a Bell Pepper-Kale Sauce

Finding different ways to use Kale has been my challenge for the summer.  When I saw bell peppers in the box with kale the wheels in my head started turning.  I came up with a pretty tasty sauce to accompany my grilled chicken.

The bell pepper isn’t too overpowering and the kale is subtle.

I love when an experiment turns out awesome.

Supplies

  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small can chicken broth (I used lower sodium)
  • 1 small bunch of basil, I used the purple basil in my box
  • 2 cups kale, chopped (I used both varieties in my box)
  • S & P to taste

In a deep pan sauté the onion, pepper and garlic until the peppers are soft.

Add 1/2 the can of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer until reduced by half. About 7 mins.

Turn off heat and let cool for a little bit.

Add to food processor and puree.  Add remaining chicken broth until you get a sauce-like consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon over, under or on the side of desired protein. Tonight it was grilled chicken.

Enjoy!

Note: Please don’t mind my garnish fail. The purple basil flowers looked better in person than on camera.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Chunky Basil Dressing

I sure do love salad in the summer.  What I don’t love is store bought salad dressings.  I’ll admit it, I’m a control freak.  I like to control how salty, sweet, spicy my food should be. Packaged foods like bottle salad dressings don’t let me have control.

This recipe is fantastic.  I used a coconut white balsamic vinegar I got at Oro Di Oliva in Wauwautosa, WI. This gave the dressing such a wonderful undertone.

All the veg and herbs came from Highcross Farm.  They truly have the best produce in the world. I may be a little biased.

Supplies

  • 1 cup of loose fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar of your choice
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonaise, I used light mayo
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • S & P to taste

I put everything into the food processor and let it rip until it reached a nice creamy, chunky consistency.

I spooned some over  thinly sliced tomato and cucumber from Highcross Farm.   Heaven.

This is a perfect, light dish for this ridiculously hot Wisconsin weather we are having.

Enjoy!


 
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Posted by on August 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Warm Eggplant & Summer Squash Bruschetta

I love, love, LOVE bruschetta.  I normally go for the typical tomato, basil, mozzarella bruschetta.  This time I decided to go with a super chunky, ultra rustic, warm bruschetta to put atop my fresh loaf of Italian bread.

This is rich and full of flavor without being too heavy for a summer dish.

I think I used 90% of my CSA box with this recipe.  This was a total experiment that pleased me to no end.

This recipe makes quite a lot, so grab a big loaf of fresh bread, a handful of good friends, a beverage of your choice and ENJOY.

Supplies:

  • 1 large zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized egg plant, roughly chopped
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and you guessed it, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c red wine of your choice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh basil. I received some beautiful lemon basil in my box this week.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • S & P to taste
  • Fresh bread, toasted
  • Grated Parmesan, optional

In a large dutch oven sweat your diced onions in heated olive oil.  Sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sautee until fragrant.  You want to be able to smell the garlic, but be careful not to burn the garlic.

Once you are able to smell the garlic add the squash and egg plant.  Sauté until they start to get golden brown.

Add the wine, tomatoes and basil and let simmer for about 3o minutes; stirring often.You want the liquid to reduce by half. Salt and pepper to your taste.

The squash and eggplant will be soft and you will be left with this delectable sauce to sop up with your bread.

Top your toasted bread with some bruschetta and top with grated parm.

Side note:  If you can get lemon basil, I suggest you do so.  The aroma and flavor it gives this dish is out of this world. Sublime.  If you want a little heat, go ahead and add some crushed red pepper flakes or thai chilies.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp w/ a Garlic Wine Sauce over Pasta

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With the 2009 CSA season about to start, my mind has been racing thinking of what I can do with this season’s share.  HighCross Farm grows the most amazing cherry tomatoes ever.  I won’t see those until later in the summer so I had to suffice with store bought.

I like using the off-season time to experiment and practice.  I can’t wait to take what I’ve played with over the winter months and apply it using the best produce around from HighCross Farm.  I truly am excited for the start of the season.

The Supplies:

  • 1 container grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • A good handful of precooked or uncooked (peeled and deveined) shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup (or more if you so desire) good white wine (I had a Chenin Blanc on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • S & P to taste
  • cooked pasta of your choice

I took a container of grape tomatoes and sliced them in half.  I kept is simple by using  just a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Baked them off in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  They should come out looking like these beauties…

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Mmmm!  Tomatoes are naturally sweet; when you roast them you heighten their sweetness ten fold.  It’s like eating candy..really.

Next, I took about 3 cloves of garlic and a small yellow onion and chopped them up finely.  I sweated them out with some olive oil until they were translucent.

To that I added a good white wine and let it simmer until it reduced by half. 

This is a good time to start your pasta.

Once the wine has reduced add in your roasted tomatoes, shrimp and basil.  Let simmer until the shrimp are either heated all the way through or cooked all the way through.  You will have something that looks like this…

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Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and mix into the sauce. Plate and enjoy.  This dish is fantastic!!

One more picture…

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Posted by on May 17, 2009 in basil, pasta, tomatoes, wine

 

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Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

When I saw all those tomatoes and basil in my CSA box tonight, I thought for a minute what I wanted to do with them. I remembered the bruschetta I had at the Fox River Brewery in Appleton and thought it shouldn’t be hard to come up with my own take on their bruschetta recipe.  Let me tell you…it was heaven in my mouth. I urge you to try this recipe. It’s easy to make and oh so delicious.

I used both the regular basil and the purple basil I recieved in tonights CSA box. Kath grows wonderful basil at HighCross Farm.

I loved the colors with the two varieties of basil and the red and yellow tomatoes.  I love a rustic look to my bruschetta.  The traditional bruschetta recipe calls for roma tomatoes, but I think the concentrated sweetness of the cherry tomatoes adds an extra layer to the all around flavor of this recipe.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

  • 1.5 pounds of tomatoes (I used all the cherry tomatoes from my csa box)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese

Mince your garlic and shallots and put into a medium sized bowl.  Chop or dice your tomatoes (if you dont want as much liquid in your bruschetta, squeeze the seeds out of the tomatoes before chopping) and add to the bowl. Chop up your basil (I do a chiffinade then roughly chop that so I have some nice pieces of basil throughout). Add salt and pepper to taste then drizzle in the olive oil. Mix and let sit in the refridgerator while you prepare your baguette.

Turn on the oven to 450 F and let preheat.

Slice the baguettte on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick.  Coat one side of each slice with olive oil with a pastry brush and set oil side down on a baking sheet. Toast on top rack for 5-6 mins just until the bread juuuuuuuuust starts to turn golden brown. Take out of the oven and turn the pieces around so they are oil side up now.

Slice your mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick or to your preference.  Place a slice of mozzarella on top of  each baguette slice.  Put back in the oven until the cheese gets soft..not melted…soft.

Take out of the oven, top with bruschetta and truly enjoy.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2008 in basil, bruschetta

 

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Lemon Herb Butter

I had some lemons, fresh Rosemary and super fresh Basil (courtesy of HighCross Farm) in my fridge and decided to make a lemon herb butter.

Please don’t mind my cutting board. It was stained green after chopping my herbs.

I chopped up a good handful of Basil and about two sprigs of Rosemary (Rosemary is a strong herb). I took about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and added it to 1 stick of room temperature butter.  I then added my chopped herbs, mixed until well blended and chilled in the refridgerator until needed.

Finished product…

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2008 in basil, butter, herbs, lemon, rosemary

 

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