I love the sweet, pungent smell of basil and how adding it to a dish turns it gourmet and fancy with so little effort. Just the way I like my cooking to be…;)
I’m constantly growing my own sweet basil, but this weekend my mother-in-law gave me a bag of basil that she grew from seeds she brought back from Bali last year. Holy hell, did it smell good!
I went Googling and I think it’s Kemangi, or Balinese Lemon Basil that she gave me. I’ll have to see if the lemon basil available here is as aromatic and flavorful. At any rate, now I’ve been in a basil/pesto mood this week. Here are some simple recipes I’ve made (or will be making) this week. They all have that Sandra Lee, Semi-Homemade twist (minus the cluttered tablescape!).
Caprese Salad for Two (5 minutes to make!)
4 oz Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
4-5 Plum Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Basil, snipped up
Top sliced tomatoes with mozzarella.
Lightly drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Finish with snipped basil and salt & pepper to taste.
(The night I made this, I also drizzled some asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes while I made the caprese salad. Between the salad and asparagus, I was full.)
Proscuitto Artichoke Pizza (15 minutes start to finish!)
One Boboli Pizza Crust
1/3 C. Pesto
4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1/2 C. Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained & quartered
3 oz. Proscuitto, sliced very thin and cut into strips
Fresh Basil, snipped up
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spread pesto in a thin even layer over pizza crust.
Layer mozzarella, artichokes, & proscuitto.
Cook for 8-10 minutes.
Top with fresh basil.
Ravioli with Tomatoes and Asparagus (15 minutes start to finish!)
1 Package of Refrigerator Ravioli (I love the Rosemary Chicken Ravioli at Costco)
3-4 Plum Tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 lb. Fresh Asparagus
1/2 C. Pesto
1/4 C. Shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a pot of salted water to boiling, cook ravioli according to package directions, drain & set aside.
While water is heating up for the ravioli, spread asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for approximately 8 minutes.
Cut tomatoes into large chunks and the asparagus into 1″ pieces.
Gently toss the vegetables, pesto, and ravioli together.
Top with the shredded parmesan.
Hope these help with meal planning, especially on those weeknights when you’re not in the mood for time-consuming or complicated recipes! Oh, wait…that’s every night with me…
Any other simple and tasty basil recipes to share?