Tag Archives: basil

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.


  • 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!



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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


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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.



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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.



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.


  • 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.


Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized


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