August 30, 2017

Basil and baseball.

P1150190

The Brewers had a day game, and Meade had 4 shopping bags full of newly harvested basil that that he'd grown from seed. Spoiler alert. The Brewers beat the Cardinals 6-5, and the leaves and stems tied 2-2. With 2 shopping bags full of stems lined up for a trip to the the compost bin, we've got 2 shopping bags full of the finest basil leaves. Much of that is going to have to get stuffed into the blender with olive oil, etc., for pesto. There's also Caprese salad. Other ideas?

103 comments:

mockturtle said...

Basil is my favorite herb and I have always grown my own until recently being on the road so much. It has such a delightful flavor!

tcrosse said...

Basil is my favourite Fawlty.

buwaya said...

My wife also makes a giant batch of pesto every year come basil season.
Freezes it for use all year. Its her thing. Pesto-covered stuffed mushrooms is her dish.
Uses three cheeses - Asiago, Parmesan, Romano.

Comanche Voter said...

Go back to the most recent slow food fast in the WSJ. There's a recipe for borlotti beans with mozzarella and salsa verde (which uses a chunk of basil leaves as well as other good stuff). Had to search long and hard for canned borlotti beans in LA---found them in an Italian delicatessen a couple of suburbs over. The chef who came up with the recipe runs Ducksoup in London. He said either use fresh borlotti beans (probably easy enough to get in London, but a bit hard to find here in the USA) or canned borlotti beans. The dish is supposed to be something you can make in 15 or 20 minutes--and dried borlotti beans (if you can find them) take too long to cook. Maybe you could substitute cranberry beans. But since I've got the (imported) canned Italian borlottis, I'll use those.

vza said...

Basil Salt

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/cooking/tips/a25262/basil-salt/

Annie C said...

Tomato and basil soup. Lime and basil sorbet. Pizza caprese.

Rick Turley said...

I always blanch basil for a couple of seconds and a quick dunk in ice water before I use it in pesto. Keeps it green.

traditionalguy said...

Like spinach, the Coumadin users avoid eating any Basil. It clots the blood they want to keep thinned. But Basil is ok for the users of the new RXs developed for blood thinning.

jimbino said...

Use a large piece of pita bread as the base for a pizza. Cover with tomato slices alternated with basil leaves, each shading the other. Bake as a pizza. Delicious and healthy. If you don't mind the extra fat and calories, you can sprinkle with cheese before or after baking.

Ann Althouse said...

We're working on an idea we call: a basil sandwich.

Ann Althouse said...

Peanut butter and basil sandwich.

What else would be good? Just some kind of spreadable cheese (even cream cheese).

MikeR said...

Perhaps this can heal some of our nation's wounds, and improve our nutrition. We have been suffering from basil-less hatred.

Unknown said...

An omelette with quartered cherry tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, and chiffonade basil is lovely; caprese with eggs, sort of. All that goes inside the omelette, but don't add the basil until just before you close it up and serve, some of the flavor cooks out otherwise.

-sw

mockturtle said...

Basil is my favourite Fawlty.

Yes! That, too!

Jim Her said...

A couple of crushed leaves in lemonade.

ex-madtown girl said...

Bruschetta!!

BuckIV said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/basil-recipes_n_1524556.html

robother said...

An effeminate friend assures me it's quite good served with rat meat cooked on the bone.

rehajm said...

Caprese or on a pizza with some buffala are best. After that you can branch out to beverages- basil lemonade. raspberry iced tea. Basil ginger cocktails...

Ralph L said...

Slap it around or dry it.

Leeatmg said...

Basil freezes well for future use - just chop it finely and put into ice cube trays; top off with filtered or bottled water, and freeze. When you need fresh basil in a recipe, add a cube.

YoungHegelian said...

The Thais have all sorts of kick-ass things they do with basil. Here's some recipes.

There is a "Thai" Basil that does best with these dishes, but most other basil varieties will work. I'd avoid "chocolate" basil if you can, however, but I doubt that's the variety you grew.

The Mrs just luuuvs Thai style Beef with Basil & Eggplant (use the small Asian eggplant), & she cooks it up fierce with Thai cat's penis peppers, like a good Texas girl.

jwl said...

I grow a lot of basil as well but not as much as Meade. I make pesto from it, and also just basil and olive oil, than put mix into ice cube trays into freezer and then into medium freezer bags. I use frozen pesto for chicken and basil/olive oil for soups, stews and chili over winter.

Krumhorn said...

Pesto! Lots of pesto.

- Krumhorn

Unknown said...

Dime bags in shorewood hills..

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Basil ice cream.

AllenS said...

Leave the basil, take the cannoli.

Ann Althouse said...

Muddled basil in lemonade is something we've been drinking all summer

HoodlumDoodlum said...

There is a coffee place near me that specializes in basil lemonade. They have a cart and show up at outdoor events. Pretty refreshing!

Ann Althouse said...

The NYT has a recipe for a salad with cherry tomatoes, waremelon, basil and vinegrette.

mockturtle said...

Leave the basil, take the cannoli.

;-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Fresh Mozzarella slices, sliced fresh tomatoes. Layer around a plate shingle style alternating the mozzarella and tomatoes. Put black or a mix of ripe and kalamata olives in the middle. Strew with fresh basil leaves coarsly chopped. Drizzle with virgin olive oil on the tomato/cheese wheel. Be generous if you plan to dawb the oil with bread. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and if you like fresh cracked pepper.

Serve at room temperature. Good as an anti-pasto supper. Some wine. Some sliced ripe melons and other fruit. Maybe some other salami and cheese platter and fresh crunchy carrot sticks, grapes and any other seasonal items.

Some good sour dough bread to dip into the olive oil.


Actually for a basil sandwich the mozzarella (fresh!), tomatoes, basil, olive oil and maybe some mortadella or salami. Nommm.
Did I mention wine? Must have wine.

Bay Area Guy said...

The NYT has a recipe for a salad with cherry tomatoes, waremelon, basil and vinegrette

The NYT would probably complain that the basil is "under-represented" in that salad -- or that the cherry tomatoes have an unfair privilege.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I saw Bobby Flay use basil and mint to make a dressing for a roasted corn salad. I tried it, but added fingerling potatoes in addition to the corn, cause not enough carbs, and it was delicious.

Looking around on the net, it appears that pairing basil and mint is a thing.

Grant said...

Here's a link to one of the very finest Marcella Hazan recipes I've ever made. Basil is a critical element, though it doesn't require a lot. No need to make fresh pasta--it's excellent with rotini as well. Scroll down for the actual recipe.

http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/pomodori_e_vino/2010/06/fried_zucchini_sauce_with_garl_1.html

victoria said...

Pasta, pasta pasta. Pizza too.


Vicki from Pasadena

madAsHell said...

What does one do with zucchini besides bread, and zucchini fries?

Grant said...

Oops. They don't actually post the recipe at that link, they just talk about it. It's worth buying a copy of Marcella's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking just for this.

Rick Turley said...

Caprese like DBQ notes is good. We dust sparingly with flaked sea salt and drizzle a little good balsamic if the tomatoes need an acidity boost which many do these days. If you can find it, sub in burrata for the fresh mozzarella di bufala. Oh, yeah.

Fabi said...

Unknown (-sw) makes a wonderful suggestion -- I'll try it for breakfast tomorrow!

Fabi said...

Sautéed zucchini.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

I don't have much to contribute, except that one year we grew various kinds of basil (as I recall lemon and anise basil) and they both really tasted different from "regular" basil. I think with pesto, or cabrese, I'd stick with "regular" but next year grow a little of the other types and I think you will be amazed, and you could use them in a Thai dish, or just on a grilled meat.

David said...

Meade is a patient man.

Bill Peschel said...

I planted basil this year. Two plants, and they skyrocketed thanks to the temperate summer. Didn't get around to harvesting, though, cause I spent long days in the basement office editing several long, long manuscripts. I really should order my time better.

Basil is the perfect fresh spice. Easy to grow, easy to freeze, smells fabulous and useful in so many things. The perfect gateway down the garden path, especially when paired with oregano and tomato plants.

David said...

My wife is a genius at making sandwiches. Fresh basil instead of lettuce, pesto instead of mayo. Part of her secret. Which I have just revealed. She does not read blogs much so perhaps she will never know.

Grant said...

I've also made Thai-style curries and added basil liquid for color and flavor without the black leaf bits you get if you use the basil directly. Just purée however much basil you want in a blender with enough water to make a fairly liquid mix. Push it through a fine mesh sieve and use the resulting liquid in the curry at the end.

David said...

"I really should order my time better."

Be consoled that you have plenty of company.

Rick Turley said...

Pro tip for those of us more southerly. In late July I take some cuttings before they start to flower. A couple weeks in a jar of water until it starts to root. Plant and you've got a free second crop.

mezzrow said...

If Meade will accept my address, I'll accept as much of that basil as he would send. How's that for an idea?

Pesto is another thing that shows us God loves us and wants us to be happy.

SukieTawdry said...

What does one do with zucchini besides bread, and zucchini fries?

I use it in salads and crudités. Keeps much better than cucumber.

I don't use many herbs. My taste buds seem to act like a dog's olfactory organs in that I taste each individual element and the flavor of many herbs is just overwhelming to me. If I were an expert cook, I could probably expertly blend, but I'm not an expert cook by any stretch of anyone's imagination. If you're in deer country, herbs are one category of plants they won't bother. Guess they don't like the tastes either.

MadisonMan said...

Bacon, Tomato and Basil sandwich. Sort of BLT, but a BTB. BBT?

William said...

I'd mail a portion out to fifty random guys named Basil. It must be tough going through life with a name like Basil. Imagine having parents who named you after a secondary spice. Maybe getting a small packet of Basil in the mail would cheer them up.

glenn said...

Foccaccia rolls, fresh pesto, fresh mozzarella, thin sliced fresh tomatoes. Best veggie sandwich ever.

Old Camera Guy said...

Margherita pizza, the authentic pizza of Naples.

Pizza dough, tomato sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, slices of fresh Mozzerella (NOT shredded), and lots of basil, with a drizzle of olive oil.

Best if baked in a wood-fired oven, so you get the nice layer of wood ash on the bottom.

If you have gluten intolerance, then invite some friends over to eat the pizza.

reader said...

We like strawberries with a dash of balsamic vinegar, pinch of sugar, and a little bit of basil. It tastes really good on biscuits or panna cotta.

tcrosse said...

It must be tough going through life with a name like Basil. Imagine having parents who named you after a secondary spice.

Ask Basil Rathbone. It could have been Rosemary.

policraticus said...

Candied basil is an interesting garnish, surprisingly potent.

I like to flash fry whole basil leaves in extra virgin olive oil and then give them a sprinkle of sea salt. Crisp, melt in your mouth and intense. Good on grilled fish, roasted chicken or pork chops.

Basil compound butter, either simply basil or basil and tomato, or basil and anything else, are dead simple to make and handy to have in the freezer come winter time. Toss the butter into pasta, or slice and use as a finishing butter for grilled steak.

mockturtle said...

Ask Basil Rathbone.

My favorite Holmes. And Nigel Bruce, my favorite Watson.

mockturtle said...

Imagine having parents who named you after a secondary spice.

William, basil is an herb, not a spice. And far from secondary.

buwaya said...

Basil comes from Greek, means "King".

Sort of like calling someone Leroy, or Rey, or for that matter Richard.

Lem said...

Had a friend from work back in 90s with two masters degrees. His name was Leaf. Really smart guy. Met dated and married a fellow engineer at the office. I looked him up on the net and apparently he's working on a big project to provide water for NYC.

Michael K said...

I like fresh basil with tomato and balsamic vinegar in ensalada caprice

Ann Althouse said...

I made an immense amount of pesto just now.

I also had a basil and soft cheese sandwich for dinner. (Cheese was "Delice de Bourgogne" from Whole Foods, bread was "ancient grain.")

Plan to make the watermelon recipe soon. Whole Foods had a good price on the melon.

Bought fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for salad.

mezzrow said...

A little pesto in some scrambled eggs is tremendous. Just add a little into the pan as you're pulling the eggs together at the end. When you have lots of pesto, it's another way to improve your life.

exiledonmainstreet said...

David, I'm intrigued. What else does your wife put on sandwiches besides basil and pesto? I had a turkey sandwich for dinner because I am too tired to cook, but it was pretty boring. Dijon mustard and leaf lettuce.

I discovered how good basil is with watermelon just this summer. I used to make a good Thai chicken and basil dish but I'm not sure Ann would like a spicy dish.

Sukie, the only herb I find annoyingly overpowering is Rosemary. Use just a bit too much and that's all you taste.

mockturtle said...

I made an immense amount of pesto just now.

I also had a basil and soft cheese sandwich for dinner. (Cheese was "Delice de Bourgogne" from Whole Foods, bread was "ancient grain.")

Plan to make the watermelon recipe soon. Whole Foods had a good price on the melon.

Bought fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for salad.


Keep us updated, Ann. The watermelon salad sounds interesting.

mockturtle said...

I had a turkey sandwich for dinner because I am too tired to cook, but it was pretty boring.

A great turkey sandwich is a croissant with turkey meat [not processed], cream cheese and cranberry sauce.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Mock, that sounds good, particularly after thanksgiving when I usually have a surplus of both turkey and cranberry sauce.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Oh, yes, pesto added to scrambled eggs is delicious.

Lem said...

Big series for the Redsox coming up against the Yankees. For me every series against the Yankees is a big series.

mockturtle said...

Big series for the Redsox coming up against the Yankees. For me every series against the Yankees is a big series.

I root against the Yankees no matter who they're playing. If they are playing the Angels, whom I also loathe, I just won't watch. Baltimore is picking up its game of late and could conceivably end up on top of the AFC East.

mockturtle said...

whom they're playing, that is...

Ben Zipperer said...

This actually works well https://www.thespruce.com/the-best-ways-to-preserve-basil-1327671

EMyrt said...

Basil is the king of herbs, hence the name.
Buwaya's on it.

Strawberry Basil Gimlet
Muddle strawberries and basil leaves, add one part gin, 1/2 lime juice, 1/2 basil syrup (recipe below). For one or two servings, shake over ice, strain into gimlet glass, garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.
You can scale this up for a crowd in a pitcher, leave the muddlins in the bottom of the pitcher and decant into gimlet glasses.

Basil syrup: make simple syrup, 2/1 sugar/water. Bring water to boil, dissolve sugar. Pour hot syrup over fresh basil leaves. Strain out basil and bottle. Keeps a week or so in the fridge.

Strawberry basil shrub: put strawberries and basil in mason jar, add sugar, cider vinegar (live, like Braggs, is best). Let steep for a couple of days in the fridge, decant into bottle. Pour over ice with sparkling water.

CStanley said...

1. Infuse some good olive oil...use in cooking or just for dipping bread.

2. Lemon basil gremolata (process lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt and pepper...use on fish or broiled veggies.

3. Lemon basil potato salad...use the above but thin with extra lemon juice and olive oil, toss with boiled baby Yukon golds.

4. Basil chimichurri....Basil and parsley, 1/4 mild onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar. Drizzle on fish or flat iron steak

5. Southern caprese: a good heirloom tomato (Cherokee purple recommended), fresh mozzarella, basil, bacon crumbles drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Or substitute a fried green tomato for the fresh heirloom one, and feta crumbles for the mozzarella.

6. Tomato, basil, and havarti grilled cheese. (Or gruyere) Slice the tomato thin or it will be too mushy....you want a high ratio of cheese to tomato.

9. Frittata with basil and anything else you want to use up from the fridge.

10. Figs, honey, prosciutto and basil make a really good combination...you can make a dip or spread with a base of ricotta or marscapone...or use that mix of flavors in a salad or a flatbread/pizza

SukieTawdry said...

As a Yankee fan, there's nothing I enjoy more than knocking the Sox out of contention.:-)

Lem said...

Boston was swept by Baltimore and then they Boston turned around and swept Toronto.

Sweep week.

SukieTawdry said...

Unless, of course, it's celebrating 27 World Series trophies.

CStanley said...

Glad to see some cocktail recipes! I love herbs in cocktails,

I just remembered two more recipe ideas-Corn/ basil salad (add some finely diced onion and dress with a red wine vinaigrette) and Panzanella (toss some day old bread cubes in a vinaigrette and add tomato, diced onion, cucumbers, basil.)

Bob Boyd said...

Basil improves knee speed.

Lem said...

How about JJ Watts?

The latest hurricane relief goal is 10 million dollars.

Be said...

Had a bumper crop of basil, though of a different variety than yours, up here. (Regular burpee seeds). I'll gladly feed the stems to the compost if they can't be beaten down into something else more useful.

Be said...

This is a bad time of year for me (bad anniversaries). As such, housemate's been feeding me copious doses of both "Fawlty Towers" episodes as well as "Red Green." He even got over his anti French bias to sit through a couple M Hulot films.

As much as he and I trip each others' wires and start to yelling, maybe there's a realization out there that we're probably not going to find anyone better each of us for the other?

Coconuss Network said...

Vinaigrette. Could also add fresh mint to the emulsion too.

mockturtle said...

Be said: As such, housemate's been feeding me copious doses of both "Fawlty Towers" episodes as well as "Red Green."

Anyone who likes Fawlty Towers and Red Green is worth holding onto. Whenever I watch the old Red Green bit about the guy [Bill?] using a wood lathe I laugh until I wet my pants. Damn, that was funny. As were so many of those skits.

Tari said...

The Basils I know were named after Basil the Great. But they're all Eastern Orthodox, so maybe that's otherwise weird?

Lem is right: JJ Watt is amazing. He loves this town and the people in it. Although it's hard to know Houstonians and not love them - except when they're driving on freeways, that is. That's when they get all their aggression out.

And a nice basil recipe:

Strawberries, sliced
Peaches, same
Fresh basil, cut into very fine strips

all mixed together and topped with Ricotta cream, which takes about 2 minutes and consists of

15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese, mixed in the blender with
2 T sugar and
a generous squirt of honey

Alexandra Burke said...

I've been on a soda bread jag. Here is photo of the last incarnation:

Soda Bread with mozzarella, basil and cornmeal

I find that most soda bread recipes underestimate the required buttermilk. I use this recipe with an additional 1/3 cup buttermilk, substitute 1/2 cup of fine cornmeal and split remaining flour between bread flour and regular.

JaimeRoberto said...

Grill some peppers and serve with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, feta cheese and basil.

Rana said...

Tea sandwiches made with cranberry-walnut bread, smoked turkey, cream cheese, and basil leaves. Also, watermelon, feta cheese, and basil salad topped with fresh ground black pepper. Not a fan of pesto, but cannot get enough of caprese this year.

MGduP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MGduP said...

Basil Smash Cocktail.

PB said...

How does it smoke?

Snark said...

This is the tomato basil soup recipe I use, and it's decadent. I add a bit of sugar as well, which completes its utter lack of pretence to pointed healthiness.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13113/rich-and-creamy-tomato-basil-soup/

Also, I have the exact same TV remote control. This surprises me both in it's actuality and in the odd sense of bondedness it makes me feel. LOL.

tim in vermont said...

I guess if you're a Yankees fan, you better be a history buff.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the NYT "101 Simple Salads for the Season" (from Summer 2009). The watermelon/basil one is first on the list:

"Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness."

By the way, I did buy bacon yesterday, and I'd thought of the BLT with basil for "L" (as I see Madison Man also suggested).

Ann Althouse said...

And sorry for misspelling "vinaigrette" earlier, I realized as I was typing it that I didn't know how to spell it.

Curious George said...

Ha Meade's a Carhartt guy. Me too.

Be said...

Oh, Mock Turtle at 22h00 or so the other night: You are a Dear. Housemate (originally from central NJ) and I (from around what I'd call Mike Myers territory) fight about Everything, but keep falling back on, aside from food, is Similar Humor / Imagery.

Housemate Loves the "Do it yerself" Rube Goldberg like creations Mr. Green comes up with.

Be said...

Vinaigrette.

Vinegar - Vin Aigre. Sour Wine.

As drunk a contributor as I might sound, usually end up with an awful lot of bottle ends. Send them to the Vinegar / vinaigre bottles to roost for several weeks, mellowing past their Sour Ends.

A few months pass, and you end up with a wonderfully mellow bit of something to sprinkle over your garden greens / capreses / whathaveyou.

Be said...

Mme (from early this morning - 6 am ish?) : That Watermelon / Feta / Basil combination is Good. Not only for the play of Salt against Sugar, but for the wonderful textures. Basil adds a pretty Visual Effect if you can't smell it.

Be said...

FWIW: Am loving the Recipe Inspirations here, that seem to keep feeding one on another.

jono39 said...

Lay a quarter od them on paper towel in the sun ands dry them out. Bottle them after crushing for use thru the year. Turn the rest into soups etc.