Leave The Cannoli Take The Basil

Jersey tomatoes. People wait all year to eat them and travel miles to find them. Blueberries, what was the old jingle, “summer fruits; it wouldn’t be summer with out them”. Some places in Jersey charge $3.99 a pint for the blue jewels. While I, a life long New Jersey resident troll the farmers markets for these goodies and of course “jersey” corn it is basil that I find to be the real gem of the summer.

It is so under-rated, yet everyone I know grows it, shares it, freezes it and can’t wait until the following summer to start all over. A personal favorite of mine, I love the smell of it, like soaps and lotions with basil scent and even add it to lemonade. A close friend makes basil lemon ice in an ice cream machine and its fantastic.
Basil has a strong smell and adds a nice flavor to any dish. It pairs beautifully with garlic and lemon and is best when thrown into a pot of fresh tomato gravy ( yes I said gravy, but that is an argument for another blog).

Often I just leave it on the counter so the whole kitchen has that strong fresh aroma.
My daughter shares the same love for the aroma of basil. Her favorite is fresh mozzarella and tomato salad with basil salt and olive oil. Of course, it would be wrong to not mention fresh pesto sauce, whipped some up last night as a matter of fact. Pesto is the perfect summer “sauce” over pasta chicken and fish. I even add some to burgers and once in a while, steaks. All this talk about basil is making me hungry. Please comment and tell us your favorite basil recipe. Enjoy the rest of your summer eats.

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