Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘10 Things’ Category

10 Things to Do With Basil

Summer means an abundance of basil. The first thing I usually do when basil shows up is make pesto, which is probably the first thing most people do with fresh basil. Now, pesto is great and all, but it does get old. After you’ve made and frozen all the pesto you can stand, check out these other tasty ways to use basil.

1. Add sliced or chopped basil to your favorite canned tomato soup to give it a touch of homemade-ness (is that a word?). My favorite is Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque.

2. Layer sliced heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a classic Caprese salad.

3. Make this caper-basil vinaigrette for salads, or go ahead and serve it on the twice-grilled peppers with Buffalo mozzarella in the same link above. It’s one of our favorite appetizers.

4. Use it to make bruschetta, an Italian spread that also features fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. Spread it on small pieces of ciabatta for an easy hors d’oeuvre.

5. Muddle it (mash it up to release its flavor) and add to lemonade for a refreshing twist on a summer favorite. If you are so inclined, add vodka to make it a hard lemonade.

6. Use it to make a delightfully herbal bread.

7. Tired of only using basil in Italian food? Try it in this Thai chicken stir-fry.

8. Add a handful of roughly chopped basil to a cup of extra-virgin olive oil and let it sit in the fridge for several days. Strain out the basil, and you have basil-infused oil to use in salad dressings, drizzled over your Caprese salad, or tossed with grilled vegetables. Store in the refrigerator.

9. How about basil in dessert? This basil-blackberry crumble looks tasty For that matter, try mixing sliced basil with your favorite fruit for an easy summer snack. Peaches and strawberries come to mind first…mmm.

10. Use it in a sandwich with grilled summer vegetables, drizzled with olive oil.

How else do you like to use basil?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

10 Things to Do With Carrots

Behold the first 10 Things post! I picked carrots because, well, we get a crap-ton of carrots around here and it’s easy to run out of ideas for how to use them. Here’s a list of ways that ranges from basic to a bit more exciting. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but when you get your next batch of orange, carroty goodness and are drawing a blank, this list should help you out.

1. Finely chop them and add to pasta sauce to sweeten it up. Follow this basic recipe to make your own, or simply simmer with your favorite jarred sauce for a quick meal.

2. Cut into sticks to eat with your favorite dip, as a healthier alternative to chips. Some of my favorite carrot dips are salsa and hummus.

3. Roast and serve as a simple side dish, or add to salads. I like to roast a big batch of veggies on the weekend, then chill and add them to salads during the week. Try this recipe, and omit the maple syrup for something more savory.

4. Make them the focal ingredient of a quick soup, like this curried carrot soup.

5. Use them in a salad. Ok, before you roll your eyes saying “Steph! I know to put carrots in a salad! That’s not why I’m reading this post!,” just hear me out. We’re going to think outside the box here. The carrots could be part of the dressing like in this decidedly non-boring avocado salad with carrot-ginger dressing. Or, they could be in the salad itself, like in this Moroccan carrot salad.

6. Make dessert, taking advantage of carrots’ natural sweetness. How about this Indian carrot pudding, or something fancier like this carrot-buttermilk tart?

7. Forget pickled cucumbers. How pedestrian! Pickle your carrots, instead!

8. Cube and add to your favorite pot roast recipe. I’m partial to an Italian-style roast, similar to this one, using Italian-style canned tomatoes.

9. Eat ’em for breakfast, like in these carrot pancakes, or these carrot cake breakfast cookies.

10. Really, really can’t stomach another carrot? Just make chicken or vegetable broth with them. It’s a great way to use up other veggies you have lying around, too, and homemade broth tastes a million times better than store-bought.

How else do you like to use carrots?

Read Full Post »