Archive for the 'Basil' Category

Cucumber Onion Salad with Basil Vinegar

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Claire Wudowsky, Tucson CSA

1 Armenian Cucumber or 3 or 4 other types of Cucumbers (I generally use a full cucumber share)
3 or 4 of the larger Sweetie Onions, thinly sliced
1 cup Basil Vinegar (recipe below)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried dill

Wash the cucumbers. If your cucumbers have bitter skins, they should be peeled (note: the cucumber salad will look prettier if you leave the skin on). Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds; then slice the cucumbers thinly

Toss together the cucumbers and onions in a bowl. Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and immediately pour over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill, cover, and refrigerate. You can eat the salad after an hour, but I think it tastes better if they marinate overnight.


Add one sliced bell pepper to the cucumber/onion mixture
Add one sliced roasted bell pepper to the cucumber/onion mixture

Basil Vinegar recipe

White vinegar

I grow basil in containers on my porch. The heat of the summer can be hard on my basil and it has been known to flower (or bolt). I like the look of the flowers, so I let the basil flower for a little while.

Once the flowers start interfering with the quality of the rest of the basil, I cut the basil stems down to a couple of inches off the ground. I stuff the basil including flowers, leaves and stems into a glass jar and then fill the jar with vinegar. If you do not grow basil in your backyard – grab a handful or two of fresh basil leaves and put them in a jar. Fill the jar with vinegar.

Then cover the jar and put the jar in the refrigerator. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Once the basil has had the time to infuse the vinegar – strain the vinegar into another glass jar. I keep the strained basil infused vinegar in the refrigerator.

Quick note: I also grow purple basil. The flowers are very pretty so I tend to let them grow longer than I should. When I used the purple basil flowers in the above recipe, the basil vinegar took on a nice pink color.

Sauce Vierge

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

This simple French sauce is easy to make and is perfect on grilled meats, fish, shrimp, or on pasta.

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1 pinch ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients, except basil.  Mix in the basil just before serving.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Philippe, Tucson CSA

An easy and delicious pasta salad which you can serve warm or cold.

1 lb pasta (e.g. rotelli, fusilli)
1 medium onion
2 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tomatoes, diced
1/4+ cup basil, finely chopped
1 cup arugula, finely chopped (optional)
1/2+ lb feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil and drain pasta according to pack instructions.
Mix crumbled feta to warm pasta, so that the feta melts a little.
Salad dressing: in a small food processor, or chopper, purée or finely chop the onion and the garlic in the olive oil.
Mix pasta, salad dressing and remaining ingredients.  Don’t add too much salt as feta is already salty.

Summer Squash and Spicy Citrus Pesto Salad

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Kumi Rao, Tucson CSA

1 share summer squash (4-5 small squash)
2 loose cups of basil
1 jalapeno lightly chopped
1/3-1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or whole pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon sea salt and
Black pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon, juice from half the lemon

Blend basil, jalapeno, garlic, 1/4 cup nuts, 1 teaspoon of salt
and 1/3 cup of olive oil in a food processor or blender until it
becomes a fine paste. Thinly slice the summer squash into
ribbons. Toss summer squash with about 1/2 cup of the pesto
or to taste.

Add lemon zest and juice to the salad. Add remaining nuts
and toss. Check seasonings to taste.

If this makes more pesto than you can use for the squash, it will
easily keep for at least a week in the fridge. Use it on pasta, rice,
or other dishes.

Asian Flavored Pesto

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

We tend to think of basil as an Italian herb, but it is widely
used throughout Asia as well. This is a take on a basic pesto,
substituting peanuts or sesame seeds for the traditional Italian
pine nuts. It will make a great sauce for noodles. You can
also make it without any nuts, to use as an addition to soups.
It should freeze just as well as regular pesto, so make extra to
freeze into ice cubes that will add some excitement to your
wintertime produce.

2 large handfuls basil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger and/or lemongrass
Fresh chile or jalapeno, to taste
1 clove garlic
¼ cup peanuts or sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Dash of soy sauce, to taste

Pulse nuts in food processor or blender, until well ground.
Add garlic and fresh chile pepper and pulse again to
incorporate. Finish by adding the rest of the ingredients and
puree until smooth. Taste, and add more soy sauce, as

Melon Cucumber Salsa

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

1 cup melon (diced small)
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon  chopped mint leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
salt, to taste

Mix all the ingredients

Coconut Basil Pesto

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

2 cup organic basil leaves (chopped)
1/4-1/3 organic olive oil (to taste)
1/4 cup dried organic coconut (available in the bulk section at the co-op or Whole Foods)
5 walnut halves
2 cloves garlic
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
You can also use mint or cilantro instead of the basil–any of the three produce a delicious pesto.

Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until it is a desired consistency (you can puree entirely or leave it a little chunky). (Also, if you find that you pureed too much, just add some finely chopped basil).

Chilled Tomato And Fresh Basil Soup

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

This soup is great chilled, but if you don’t have time, just serve it a room temperature, and it will still be great!Refreshing and delicious started for any summer meal, but works really well as a starter before a summertime backyard BBQ!  This soup can be assembled in about 5 minutes and left to chill a bit in the fridge while you get the rest of the meal ready.  It is a very low calorie and nutritious soup, but it certainly doesn’t taste as though you are sacrificing flavor for health here!

2 lb of fresh and luscious fragrant tomatoes (this recipe is all about the tomato, and is only really worth doing if you’ve got really good tasty tomatoes).
1/4 of a small onion
4 tablespoons fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
Sat and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Pop all your tomatoes in a blender with the onion, and puree until smooth. Strain to get rid of any skin, or don’t bother, if you don’t mind the tiny flecks of tomato skin throughout.
Add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and add salt and pepper to taste. The amount of vinegar will depend on the acidity of the tomatoes, but you are looking for a good balance, a rich tomato flavor with the complex sour undertone of the vinegar. Add more to taste.
Chill for an hour or more until you are ready to serve.
Ladle into bowls and top with the basil leaves, sliced as finely as possible. Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and serve.
This soup cries out for great flavorful crusty bread. If you are BBQing, try rubbing a bit of olive oil on cut slices, and grilling until browned and crisped. Rub the grilled bread with a cut clove of garlic and serve with the soup.
This soup is what makes summer eating so great. Quick fresh and flavorful; using the best of local produce. Try this 5 minute recipe!

Summer Corn Salad

Monday, June 28th, 2010
Rachel Gioannini, Tucson CSA

yellow tomatoes, cut into quarters
a handful or two of cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
basil, sliced thin
summer squash- chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
corn, uncooked, cut off the cob
a cup or so of cooked wheat berries
1/2 a purple onion, diced
2 nectarines or peaches, cut into small pieces

Combine all this stuff together in a bowl. Dress with a very simple dressing of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup vinegar (I used blood orange vinegar), salt and pepper.
A really light and yummy cold salad, great with chicken. Could also add a cheese of some sort. Enjoy!

Basil Walnut Pesto

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

1 bag CSA basil, woody stems removed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon oil
1 handful walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients until you obtain a textured paste (slightly granular).
Serve on top of pasta, sautéed summer squash, acorn or spaghetti squash, or use as a spread for sandwiches.