This week, I got my first fresh basil of the season.
Pesto sauce is the default for fresh basil in my kitchen. But we’ve so been there and done that. So this week we tried some different things.
For an appetizer Thursday, we had something akin to bruschetta. I have to admit that sometimes I’ll put something bruschetta-like together and it’s barely more than the sum of its parts. This time, however, it worked.
This is rustic bread from Magnolia Bread Company that I brushed with olive oil and toasted. I added some of my goat cheese that had been marinating in olive oil and sea salt for most of a week. On top of the goat cheese is a mixture of tomato, onion, garlic scape, and red wine slowly cooked in olive oil. Fresh basil went on top of that, and then the slices went in the broiler for a couple of minutes. Finally, I grated some Asiago cheese on top.
One thing I loved about this dish was its sparing use of ingredients. I used ¼ cup goat cheese, ½ a small onion, ¼ of a tomato, and one garlic scape – all scraps and leftovers. If I’d had more goat cheese or tomato, I would have added it. But that would have been a mistake. Less was more in this case.
Pasta with olive oil, garlic, and basil
For supper, we had pasta tossed in a basil-garlic sauce and a salad. To make the sauce, I cooked chopped garlic scapes lightly in olive oil and then added some basil. I added a little of the lemon whey from the pasta pot to thicken the sauce. Then I tossed the drained pasta in the sauce and topped it with more fresh basil.
Basil shrimp fried rice
For Friday lunch, we had basil shrimp fried rice grits with Pac choi, onion, and garlic scape.
I though the basil gave the fried rice a Thai feel, so I used half soy sauce and half fish sauce during cooking. T
he basil went well with the shrimp and was a welcome change for our fried rice.
That’s it for the fresh basil. No regrets, and I’m very glad we didn’t make pesto. There will be plenty of time for that later in the summer.