I decided last night that the first thing on my to-do list today would be to use my new-found abundance of free, fresh basil. We had some tomatoes in the fridge, as well as some fresh garlic cloves. The first thing that came to mind: bruschetta.
1 1/2 beefsteak tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
This recipe can easily be doubled, and placed atop toasted and lightly oiled slices of bread.
I opted to put it over salad.
1. Dice tomatoes and place into medium sized bowl.
2. In a food processor, mince garlic. Add basil to processor after garlic is mostly minced, and process until basil is coarsely chopped. Add basil and garlic to tomatoes.
5. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to tomato/basil/garlic, and combine thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use/serve.
The second thing that came to mind, when I noticed the two other leftover kaiser rolls sitting on the counter: croutons.
2 semi-stale kaiser rolls
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut your bread -not your thumb- into equal-sized cubes. Place into a large bowl.
3. In a food processor, mince garlic. Add basil to processor after garlic is mostly minced, and process until basil is coarsely chopped. (Does this sound familiar?)
4. In a small saucepan, add butter and olive oil, stirring to create a smooth mixture. Add minced garlic and basil, and cook for one minute. Stir until herbs are evenly distributed throughout butter/oil mix.
5. Pour butter/oil/garlic/basil mixture over chopped bread, and distribute as evenly as possible. I used my hands to toss the bread in the oil mixture, just because it was easier.
6. Place cubed bread onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake for fifteen minutes, turning over bread once with a spatula. Cool for ten minutes on paper towels, and enjoy!
I also advise you save the little crunchies! Perfect bag-to-mouth munchage.
My family loves croutons. My little sister Kara told everyone to stop eating croutons so we could save them for her dinner.
I used both the bruschetta and croutons to create my:
Fresh Bruschetta Salad with Garlic Basil Croutons.
1 1/2 c. lettuce
2 oz. chopped green pepper
5 chopped baby carrots
5 slices balsamic-marinated cucumber
1/2 c. fresh bruschetta
1/2 c. garlic-basil croutons
dressing of choice
Top lettuce with pepper, carrots, cucumber, bruschetta, croutons, dressing, and serve! I didn’t think this salad would need dressing, but after a few bites I topped mine with some of Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar. It was quite a filling/delicious/basli-filled lunch!
*Disclaimer: I usually don’t eat this many salads, but Kelly bought two heads of lettuce last weekend, in addition to fresh veggies, and I just couldn’t let them go to waste!