Just when I start to feel like it’s fall, the ripe tomatoes in my garden remind me that it’s still summer! Tonight I was so happy to pick the first lettuce from my second planting, after a few weeks without lettuce in our salads. The tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen in large quantities, enough to make sauce for the two of us with leftovers. The basil is out of control, so big, and I know that I have to spend some quality time making and freezing pesto soon. I added some of Chris and Melissa’s garlic, fresh pasta and cheese, and I added leftover Maine lobster to Ed’s plate, since his mom was so kind as to bring home some lobsters for him. (I’m allergic to lobster, but I was very happy with the vegetarian version.) Ed’s mom also brought us a 5 pound box of Maine blueberries, some of which I froze and some of which I turned into Blueberry Buckle. It’s cooling now and will make a great breakfast for the rest of the week. Or dessert. Or snack.
Tag Archives: basil
Finally, more time to devote to Corn Week! Today I made this delicious sauteed corn. It’s more elegant than eating corn on the cob, so it would make a nice side for a dinner party where you’re looking to avoid the mess. We’re not fancy people, so none of our parties would exclude corn on the cob, but I tried it this way to change things up a bit.
- 4 ears of corn (plan on about 2 ears per person), kernals cut off the cob
- handful of basil leaves, chopped coarsely
- other herbs, such as parsley or chives, if desired
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large pan. Toss in the corn and add the basil, other herbs, salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook about 2-3 minutes. This is way better than a canned corn side dish, and cooks so fast. The proportions really aren’t important, other than making sure there’s enough corn for the number of people you’re serving. I had basil and parsley from my garden, so that’s what I used, but I’d like to try chives and see how they change the flavor.
The basil in our garden has been doing so well, especially after I thought it died when I transplanted the seedlings. The Red Ruben basil is the farthest behind, and I haven’t used any of it yet, but I have a few ideas flying around of what to do with it.
Today, I made pesto out of the Lettuce Leaf basil. My goal is to freeze enough pesto this summer to last us for the year. We only use pesto occasionally, but I love to top fish, especially salmon, with pesto and then broil it. We also use it on chicken breasts, occasionally on pasta, and I recently saw a recipe for a potato salad made with pesto that I want to try. Oh, and I almost forgot- I like to use pesto on my pizza, the top it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella slices. That’s the best pizza! A few jars of pesto should be enough to last us the year, and I got two jars (about 1 cup each, by doubling the recipe) today. I used traditional pine nuts in this pesto, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with other pesto recipes as the basil season goes on. Today I was lucky enough to have some garlic that Chris and Melissa gave us from their garden. I don’t add any cheese to this recipe, because I’m making it to freeze. However, if you’re using it right away, you can stir in up to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese after adding the olive oil.
Traditional Basil Pesto
- 3 cups packed basil leaves, washed and dried
- 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pulse all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil with the processor on to combine. Transfer to a jar, then top with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to keep the pesto from turning brown. Screw on the lid and freeze. Makes about 1 cup.
Tonight we had our first supper that had something in it we grew. I saw the basil was ready to have a few leaves plucked off, so I came up with a yummy Italian meal to go with it. Fortunately, I had all the ingredients so it was easy to throw together. Note: basil will turn black quickly if you cut it, so tear it by hand when you’re ready to use it.
Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Chicken Sausage in Tomato and Basil Sauce
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat while you make the sauce. To make the sauce, combine all of the following ingredients in a dutch oven and bring to a simmer:
- 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes with basil
- 4 sun-dried tomato and basil chicken sausage links, fully cooked and sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- handfull of basil pieces
- dash of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat, covered, while the ravioli cooks. When the water is at a boil, add:
- 1 package organic wild mushroom ravioli (frozen)
Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain, top with sauce, and garnish with more basil. Of course you can add some parmesan cheese if you like, but I don’t use it.