Or just about everything. We currently have in our possession, two containers of fresh basil from Trader Joe’s that we have been able to put in just about everything from our breakfast dishes to our happy hour beverages. It is quickly becoming a favorite herb to have on hand, maybe all of the time? The smell of fresh basil is like no other. It makes me wish I had fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes on hand at all times.
Last night, I cooked up some Ratatouille with several of the fresh vegetables that we received in our CSA box this week including tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. I used a new recipe for Roasted Ratatouille that turned out just as delicious as the last. I followed the recipe as is, except I didn’t add the fennel bulb (simply because I don’t have any) and I added yellow cherry tomatoes (recommended in the comments section due to their sweeter flavor). I also cooked the vegetables for much longer than 45 minutes to allow the vegetables to almost caramelize, another recommendation from the comments section (I find it almost vital to read the comment section of any recipe to learn what other’s have learned or changed to make the recipe even better). Once everything was cooked, I topped it with the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and fresh basil mixture and served it on israeli couscous with some simply baked chicken breast.
Then this morning, I created a breakfast recipe from miss Martha Stewart’s collection to use up some more of the delicious summer vegetables we received in our CSA. I wanted something simple that would really let the heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil shine without a lot of extra ingredients. I chose to make her Egg & Tomato Breakfast Sandwich that is super simple and quick to make. We had half of a french bread loaf in the freezer, so I stuck that in the oven on low to let it thaw out. While that was thawing, I sliced a few thin slices of cheese from our white cheddar block, sliced up a tomato and some fresh basil. We also received a cantaloupe in our CSA which I also cut up this morning. I read an article last night that recommends scrubbing the outside of the cantaloupe before cutting it because the outer shell is prone to carrying harmful bacteria. Just a little FYI.Once the french bread was thawed, I sliced it in half and then in two, which I then let sit in the oven a little bit longer to get toasty. Then I added the sliced cheese to both halves (I decided t0 make this open-faced since the bread was pretty crunchy already). I let the cheese melt while I fried up some eggs. Once the eggs were done, I layered them in the cheesy french bread and topped them with fresh basil and sliced tomatoes with a little salt and pepper to finish it off. I served this along with some fresh cantaloups and sliced peaches (from TJ’s and are actually really good).
Lastly, I wanted to share a new drink that the bf and I are in love with. It is called a Gin Basil Smash and includes gin, simple syrup, lemon and fresh basil. IT IS SO GOOD and everything I’ve ever wanted in a summer beverage. I highly recommend and can guarantee you will not be disappointed (as long as you love all of the listed ingredients). Gin and citrus are definitely a match made in heaven, and then throw in some fresh basil? Get out. Don’t really. Just make one already.