Monday, May 23, 2011

Three Easy Recipes Made With Basil

Hello hello! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
Some of you (my family) may know that I’m not the biggest cook. I know how to cook, I just choose not to.
Or something like that. :)
Actually, I do cook, just not as much as I should. I enjoy it when I do it. It’s the whole planning thing I have a problem with – I kind of fly by the seat of my pants with most meals, using what we have on hand. If we don’t have it on hand, I don’t cook. :)
But when I find something that’s easy, I make it a lot. And when I find easy, quick, tasty food, I like to share it with you, my Squeezies. Cause I’m nice like that.
I showed you our basil plants last week and how they are absolutely busting with yummy leaves. I LOVE basil so it makes me giddy.
I figured I would show you some of my favorite (new and old) basil recipes. They are all SCRUMPTIOUS!!
First – one that works for a quick snack or a great dip for parties. It’s simple, it’s basic, and I didn’t realize how easy it was to make till a few years ago.
All you need to make pesto are four ingredients:

Pesto:
Grated Parmesan cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic
Basil leaves
You’ll notice I didn’t mention measurements, and that’s because I kind of wing it when it comes pesto. Usually pine nuts are included in the recipe too, but I don’t LOVE nuts, so I don’t include them.
You just throw everything in a processor or chopper:

Mix to to the consistency and taste you desire. I like a lot of basil, so I do a lot of basil, a lot of cheese, a little olive oil, and an even smaller amount of garlic.
Taste and mix, taste and mix, till it’s where you want it. And then eat it with crackers:
pesto
It’s SO yummy!! Most pesto recipes will be more liquid – but I like a thicker consistency.
Oh em gee, I love this stuff.
Now that we have an appetizer, let’s move on to the main course. :)
This Tomato and Basil Pasta is SO simple and good, you won’t believe it:

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta:
3 medium tomatoes, chopped (or one canned, like me)
1/3 cup chopped basil leaves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (or one tsp, but I used one Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. rotini pasta, uncooked (I used about one and a half cups)
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese (I used about a cup)
This dish really couldn’t get any easier. You just mix everything together while cooking your pasta:

I had two cans of tomatoes in the pic, but you only need one. It’s more than enough.
Then mix with the cooked pasta, and top with some more Parmesan:
fresh tomato and basil pasta
SO GOOD!!! Oh my, this is so perfect for summer – it’s light, fresh, and pretty darn healthy. I use whole wheat pasta, so that helps even more.
You can also make it as a pasta salad as well, by just rinsing the pasta after cooking then refrigerating it. That one screams summer! :)
Finally, I tried out a new basil cocktail and it may be a new favorite. Yes, I said basil cocktail. (Did I mention you’ll need to LIKE basil for these recipes?)
This one is a Bacardi Dragon Berry Strawberry Basil Lemonade:

I’m just calling it Strawberry Basil Lemonade for short. :)
Strawberry Basil Lemonade:
2 parts Bacardi Dragonberry Rum
1 part lemon juice
1 part simple syrup (I used sweet lime juice instead)
3 basil leaves
3 strawberries (hulled and chopped)
2 parts Sprite (the recipe didn’t say how much to use but I did two parts)
To make this yumminess, muddle (crush) two basil leaves and two strawberries, then add those to the fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Bacardi rum in a shaker with a bunch of ice. Add the Sprite and you’re done:strawberry basil lemomade
This is SO good, yummo!! It may be my new favorite summer cocktail. It’s going to be perfect for evenings out on the deck.
Again, if you don’t like basil and strawberries you probably won’t like it. But if you do I’m betting you’ll love it like me. The basil gives it just a tiny kick that is so different and fresh.
Did I mention yummy? ;)
(Check out my simple Summer Beer recipe here, it’s another warm weather favorite. And I hate beer!)
So there you go – a plethora of basil recipes, all easy and sooooo good. All perfect if you grow your own basil – it’s such a kick to go outside to pick my own food. Love it!
I’m linking up to my friend Rhoda’s recipe party, in our Home May’d linky series:

You can start linking up your summer recipes Tuesday morning!
So are you a basil lovah like me? Can you believe I first tried it only a few years ago? Now I can’t get enough. :) Excuse me, I’m off to snack on some pesto!

31 comments:

  1. oh! a basil cocktail how fresh!

    I want a big rocking chair, a wrap around porch and a warm summers night to go with it please!

    I'm definitely putting this on my "to drink" list

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  2. We grow Basil in our garden and we always have a plethora. Thanks for sharing ideas on how we can use it!
    Michelle @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com

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  3. I'm also a fresh basil lover!! One of my favourite recipes is my sun-dried tomato pesto. http://thebakingbookworm.blogspot.com/2010/09/sun-dried-tomato-basil-pesto.html Its so addicting!! I love to put a dollop on top of some goat cheese on a cracker delish!

    Sadly my recently planted basil plant can't keep up with my demand yet! I picked so many leaves off my older basil plant that it looks like it has a bad case of mange. Sad but true. Thanks for sharing your fav recipes. :)

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  4. I love basil too and I really like your recipes.
    Another crazy easy recipe is to take your freshly made pesto, spread it on an already made pizza crust then top it with shrimp and mozzarella cheese. Throw it in the oven for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese and you are set. It's amazing!

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  5. ooh yummy, thanks!

    I have another one - fried squash blossoms. You can pluck blossoms from your squash plants or can sometimes find them at farmer's markets.

    Mix your favorite soft cheese with pieces of torn fresh basil

    Stuff just enough of the mixture into the squash blossom that you can re-close it and twist the tips of the petals together

    Dip in an egg wash and drench with your favorite deep-fry batter, and fry in a shallow pan of oil.

    I discovered this recipe last year when my squash kept rotting on the vine (apparently from not being fertilized) and I saw a vendor selling blossoms at the farmer's market with mini-squash attached and looked up recipes to see what I could do with a squash blossom. You can use any herbs, and I happened to be growing basil at the time. It's delicious!!

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  6. Thank you for the recipes! Looks delicious for the summer

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  7. That lemonade looks delicious!

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  8. I do a similar pasta recipe, but I use 3 cups fresh diced tomatoes and instead of Parmesan cheese, I use mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I'll have to try it with Parmesan sometime. That sounds delish, too!

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  9. It all looks great and things I could actually do and ENJOY the doing of them as well as the eating! And that DRINK!!! I have to make me one of those!!

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  10. Another couple good recipes with tomato and basil: bruschetta...mix the tomatoes, basil,olive oil, garlic,and s&p, together much like you did for the pasta. Simmer, then put on sliced french bread, top with little parmesan. Toast in oven.
    Tomato-Basil Pie...slice tomato, rough cut basil. Layer in a pie shell, adding s&p to tomatoes. when done, mix 3/4-1c. mayo and 1 c. mozzarella cheese. Top tomato/basil with mayo cheese mix. Bake at 350 for 45 min.

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  11. looks delicious...definitely going to try these out.

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  12. Thanks for the recipes!! I have an herb garden and although I don't cook with it constantly, it's fun to have a few new things to try. My favorite herb is oregano! My h. will especially like the strawberry/basil drink idea....mmmm, I'm picturing the drink with basil from my garden and freshly picked berries in June...mmmm.

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  13. LOVE basil and can't wait to try the lemonade!

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  14. mmm... pesto. I miss basil. (Hubby's allergic so I can't cook with it anymore.)

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  15. Delicious!! Love fresh pesto, and I'm not a fan of cooking myself...I try, but my heart isn't in it! :)
    Janell

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  16. Oh my word...each recipe looks better than the last, Sarah. I am all about trying that summer cocktail. Delish!! I used dried basil all the time, but I've never used fresh. Do you just pull the leaves right off your plant, or do you need to snip them with scissors? I've got some rosemary going outside and some oregano, but would like to do basil too!

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  17. Love love love PESTO but have never made it myself. Summer salad recipes are so easy and really love them in our house this time of the year.

    Oh, did I mention that I LOVE pesto?

    Di

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  18. Oh I love pesto too!!!
    We pretty much always have some in the fridge :)

    Here's my favorite recipe for it:

    http://ladykayskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/need-veggies-in-your-life-presto.html

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  19. The first two are staples at our house - the cocktail is new to me and definitely going into the recipe stash. It looks FANTASTIC!

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  20. Great basil ideas!
    I have a lot of basil planted as well, including boxwood basil...looking forward to creating yummies with it later this summer

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  21. I, too, love basil! Your cocktail sounds interesting and delicious...will have to try it!

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  22. I have never tried pesto before. Maybe I will have to try it. Your recipe, however, for Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta looks wonderful. I am defintely going to try that one! I posted on my new blog today a recipe for Drip Beef if you like French Dip sandwiches. It is wonderful. Check it out at www.kellyknowsitall.com

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  23. I love basil, I grow it and use it often. Hugs!

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  24. Delicious! I invite you to know Itika Ámbar, it has the best of furniture and accessories. http://www.itikaambar.com.mx/

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  25. Looks delish! I'm definitely going to try these recipes sometime soon! I've been following your blog for the past year & love that you've changed things up a bit by adding some recipes to the mix! Thanks for all you do!!

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  26. Um, yes please.... delivery to Ohio requested!

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  27. Thanks for sharing your recipes! It's always fun to read recipes via blogs since they are usually the tried and true super yummy ones!
    I wasn't much of cook either until I started prepping my dinner meals for the week on Sunday afternoon... It has CHANGED my life! Maybe it would work for you too?
    http://naycauthen.blogspot.com/p/5-dinners-1-hour.html

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  28. Girl, I wish I lived in Indiana, because I would come visit you and we'd have pesto, pasta, and strawberry basil cocktails afterwards. And then we'd spray paint a bunch of stuff, and then we'd have another basil cocktail. :)

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  29. I, too, enjoy cooking; the planning, not so much. We've recently discovered e-mealz.com....omg....brilliant. Check it out...all the planning is done for you....even the grocery list!!

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  30. A classic delicious recipe which uses plum tomatoes and fresh basil is "puttanesca". It's a recipe from "trattoria" Italian cooking. I'm sure you will love it.
    elitelighting

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