Basil

Cucumber and Red Pepper Salad

Cucumber and Red Pepper Salad

Adapted from Pork- Be Inspired

  •  2 medium sized cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 jimmy nardello peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley/cilantro or basil, chopped
  1.  In medium shallow serving bowl, toss cucumber slices with onion slices and diced red bell pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Drizzle salad with a dressing.
  4. Let stand at room temperature, up to 2 hours, until ready to serve.
 
 

Provencal Tomato Potato Gratin

Provencal Tomato Potato Gratin

Adapted from Gourmet

  •  10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb medium tomatoes (about 6), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • About 13/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 lb medium red potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup plain fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Special equipment: a 3-qt shallow flameproof gratin or casserole dish (about 2 inches deep; not glass)
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush a shallow baking pan (1/2 to 1 inch deep) with 2 tablespoons oil. Arrange tomato slices in 1 layer in baking pan and sprinkle with a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast tomatoes until just tender (not falling apart), about 20 minutes.
  3. While tomatoes roast, cut potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and toss with 5 tablespoons oil in a large bowl.
  4. Remove tomatoes from oven and put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Arrange potato slices in 1 layer in 2 shallow baking pans (1/2 to 1 inch deep) and sprinkle each pan with a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast potatoes, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until tender, about 16 minutes total.
  5. While potatoes roast, mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Transfer paste to a bowl and stir in bread crumbs, basil, thyme, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Preheat broiler.
  7. Arrange tomatoes and potatoes in 1 layer in gratin dish, alternating slices and overlapping them, and spoon any juices from tomatoes into dish. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and broil 5 to 7 inches from heat, checking frequently after 1 minute (crumbs can brown quickly), until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

cooks’ note: Gratin can be assembled (but not broiled) 1 hour ahead and kept at room temperature.

 
 

Roasted Potatoes with Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic

Roasted Potatoes with Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic

Adapted from All Recipes

  •  2 pounds red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In the prepared baking dish, toss the potatoes, tomatoes, basil, and garlic with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the rosemary.
  3. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until tender.
 
 

Kale and Basil Pesto

Kale and Basil Pesto

Adapted from Rouxbe Cooking School

  • 2 cups kale (approx. 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 cup fresh basil (approx. 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts*
  • 1/4 cup walnuts*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To make the pesto, first clean, dry and remove the stems from the kale and basil.
  2. In a food processor, purée the kale, then remove and set aside. Next, purée the garlic. Add the pine nuts and walnuts and pulse a few times. *Note: You can use any nut or combination of nuts you like—almonds, pine nuts, walnuts all work well. For a nut-free version, either omit the nuts or use sunflower seeds instead.
  3. Next, add the puréed kale as well as the basil and pulse a few more times. Once you reach the desired consistency, start to drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Ultimately, you can add as much or as little olive oil as you like.
  4. Taste for seasoning, adding nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to taste. Note that the nutritional yeast is optional, but it does add a nice cheesy flavor to the pesto.
  5. The pesto will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but it will be at its best and brightest if used immediately. Alternatively, it can be frozen for later use.
 
 

Tomato, Cucumber and Basil Salad

Tomato, Cucumber and Basil Salad

Adapted from Peta

  • 1½ cups chopped English cucumber (about 2)
  • 1½ cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss gently.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Drizzle over salad, and add basil; toss to coat.
  3. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.