Posts Tagged ‘Basil’


In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

We have been enjoying the August bounty of the Farmer’s Market. Tomatoes being at the top of the list! I love fresh grown tomatoes; especially straight from the farm, where they remain untainted by waxes.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good tomato is Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”). 


  • 6 or 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (or any small sweet tomato will do!)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • zest of half lemon, optional if using lemon juice
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar crusty bread
  • melted butter, for toasting bread

Directions: Wash tomatoes; cut them in halves or quarters; remove the seeds and stems from their centers.  Cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Add the tomatoes to a bowl; stir in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest/vinegar, chopped basil and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside or in refrigerator while you prepare bread – this resting time allows the flavors to bloom.

 Cut the bread on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch slices. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Apply melted butter to both sides, with a pastry brush; add buttered slices to skillet. Cook on each side until brown and toasted. Remove and  rub both sides of the warm bread with the cut garlic; set aside on serving tray. Top warm buttered garlic toast with chilled tomato mixture. Serve with additional small basil leaves, for those like me who enjoy a lil’ extra basil. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

We enjoyed ours with some fresh fruit and good cheese. I love the touch of lemon, instead of the much more common balsamic vinegar. It adds a brightness to the taste and smell of the dish.  Also, I love rubbing the warm toast with the garlic, instead of having minced garlic in the tomato mixture.  It adds amazing flavor and is still aromatic, while allowing you to control the garlic content and focus on the beautiful tomatoes!! Simple. Lovely. Summer.


Bacon, Basil & Gruyere Quesadilla

In Cooking, Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Is there anything better than bacon? (Ok… ok maybe butter – MAYBE!)  I had homemade bacon for the first time last night (follow the link… literally I ate that bacon!! 😀 ).   It was amazing… life changing… addictive.  So today I was left wanting, and though these were not made with “that bacon” they were still yummy!

I think more people should cook for lunch.  In fact, this is a quick recipe which would be great for lunch, an appetizer, or a great late night snack. Best part? It only took me about 7-8 minutes, with the prep, start to finish.

Bacon Basil & Gruyere Quesadilla

2 slices of bacon, diced
2 tortillas
finely shredded gruyere
4-5 fresh basil leaves

Directions: Heat skillet to medium-high and cook diced bacon.  While bacon is cooking shred gruyere and either tear or chop up basil (I prefer a chiffonade).  Once bacon is cooked to your standards transfer to paper towel., leaving rendered fat in skillet. Assemble your quesadilla on a tortilla with a layer of cheese (as much or little as you desire) and then top with bacon and basil and the other tortilla.  Fry the quesadilla in the bacon fat rendered in the skillet.  (If you choose to make this without bacon, use olive oil and brush onto both sides of tortilla.)  Cook until each side is golden and the contents melted; serve!

Yum.  The cheese is mild, nutty and slightly sweet; the bacon of course is salty and using the grease to fry the tortilla – oh my; and then the fresh basil brings this pop which not only brings great flavor, but a fantastic aroma.  So good!  This would be yummy without the bacon, but come on you know you want bacon!! 😀 Other meats and/or types of bacon, like pancetta, would also be delicious.

Hope you cook lunch for yourself soon. ♥