Thursday, June 23, 2011

New. Thing. #3: Things. That. Make. You. Go. Mmmmmmm.

I've been noticing lately that I've been getting bored and feel that I'm always cooking the same old thing. This week, I've been trying to cook some new dishes that I haven't had before incorporating some ingredients from my garden. I've grown basil in the past but I've never used it! I've always just given it away to people. This week, I realized that my basil had exploded - probably due to all of our rain! I had so much and it had to be picked!

Most people always suggest using it to make pesto. There is one problem: I don't like a lot of garlic nor do I like that much parmesan cheese. That's problematic if you want to eat pesto. However, I did decide I would try and find another recipe that I could use the basil that I had grown and enjoy too! I was on a search for recipes and I found this recipe for a pasta twist on caprese salad. I just used a little less garlic and olive oil then the recipe recommended.
Caprese salad.
I have tons of basil left! I'm thinking a margherita pizza this weekend!

Another new recipe I made this week was a new salad dressing. It was really good and I'll definitely make it again! It is the Honey-Lemon Dressing as found in Food & Wine Magazine.

The recipe is as follows:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Honey-Lemon Dressing
This was a wonderful dressing! They also have a Basil Vinaigrette recipe. With my overabundance of basil, I will have to try it!

Another new item I tried this week while I was grabbing a few things at Lunds was Beemster Graskaas (Grass Cheese) cheese. Now, I wouldn't normally be so excited about cheese, but this is a SPECIAL cheese. Made in the Netherlands, it comes from the very first milking each spring of the cows which is some of the creamiest milk. Only 2,000 wheels are made each year and only 1,000 of them are shipped to the US. Once it is all gone, there is no more till next year! I felt so lucky to get a wedge of one of the only 1,000 wheels! Wooohoo! Yep, I get excited about the small and nerdy things. :) Read more about this cheese here.

From the Beemster crew, above is a video of the cows getting out for the first time on spring pastures! Come on ladies, make that milk! :)

Does anyone have any exciting basil recipes that I might try? What other new recipes do you suggest that I could possibly make?

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