Monday, July 21, 2008

don't hate me because I'm basil-ful

I've fallen in love, all over again. Basil is my new passion.

It started off innocently enough, with a simple pasta dish featuring goat cheese, grape tomatoes, zuchinni, and basil. Things started to heat up when I whipped up this lovely salad starring nectarines and basil.

This week, with the delivery of my CSA box, the fates seemed to be begging us not to let our love die, when I received another enormous bunch of the sweet smelling stuff. Tomato sandwiches, featuring just-picked tomatoes, local sourdough, a drizzle of olive oil, thick slices of mozzarella, and of course, basil, have been the featured item on the lunch menu for the past several days. The logical progression of our relationship led to some delectable bruschetta, featuring the same ingredients as the sandwiches, minus the mozarella, with a healthy dollop of garlic in its place.

I was on a roll at this point, and found so many recipes online for pesto that I couldn't help whipping up a batch to throw in the freezer.

I had some slightly sour blackberries from last week's farmer's market sitting in the fridge, and decided to introduce them to my new love...and with a little inspiration, was soon enjoying a delicious blackberry basil sorbet.

It's been a whirlwind few days, and I've enjoyed every moment that I've been blessed to spend with my basil. There's still a healthy sized bunch sitting in a vase of water, making my kitchen smell heavenly. Like all good food things, however, I know the season of the basil won't last forever. But until the season is officially passed, I plan to enjoy every minute we have together. And when we must say goodbye, I'll probably shed a tear or two, but I know that fate wants us to be together, and I am sure our paths will cross again around this time next year.

12 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

I never cooked with fresh basil before a few months ago and I have to admit, I'm hooked too! It's really great in pasta sauce and on sammies (one of our favorites too!). In fact, I'm growing my own now. I figure if it gets too cold for it outside, it can come live in the house as a potted plant. That way I'll always have some :)

Lewru said...

I still remember Cybil Shepherd saying that line way back in the 80s...

You're so creative with basil! I loved the idea of the sorbet...very cool.

Lewru said...

I had to link back to you on this one...too good to pass up!

Green Bean said...

Snort! Love the title.

You remind me that I should do something with the basil taking over my raised beds. Pesto perhaps?

:: A S K :: said...

oh yes! I was just about to go hunting for some recipes using basil because my plant needs picking!

kale for sale said...

I'm going to add your tomato sandwich to my list. You'll be #14.

Last year I made a bunch of pesto without the cheese and froze it in ice cube trays and packaged the cubes in small bags for the winter. You don't have to say good bye to your love.

Melissa said...

heather, I don't know why when I was planting herbs this spring, I somehow skipped basil! I won't make that mistake twice!

lewru, thanks for the link. and the sorbet was delicious! although I forgot to mention I stole the idea to put a few shots of stoli vanilla in it to keep it from freezing solid, so I'm not sure it's kid friendly (but since I don't have any kids, it's fine for me!)

green bean, glad you liked it. one of my rare clever moments :) I bet you have enough basil to make LOTS of pesto!

ask, glad to help!

kale for sale, I was thinking that freezing the pesto would also be a good way to relive the passion once the summer is gone. thanks for adding my sandwich, I'd been meaning to do that! you've got a great list going there!

emily said...

thanks for all the great recipe ideas. i also have more basil than i know what to do with. i made little zucchini, onion, basil and egg quiches (in muffin tins, no crust) and those were delicious!

Tip for basil (that i just discovered) - DONT REFRIGERATE! It wilts fast that way, you just leave it in an opened bag or jar.

Melissa said...

emily, those quiches sound great! and you're right, the refrigerator does a number on the basil.

Jess said...

Yum! Isn't basil amazing? Mine isn't doing so well this year, which is so so sad.

Jessica @ Practical Nourishment

Melissa said...

jess, it is sad when something as wonderful as basil doesn't do well...I have a few things that aren't cooperating this year!

Kathryn B. said...

Caprese salad is my summertime favorite, with fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. I eat that a LOT during the summer and don't get tired of it!