I bought a big bunch of basil at the Toms River Farmers Market. It was so beautiful I couldn't pass it up. It was practically the size of a small bush and was only $1.25. When I got it home I thought -- what should I do with this? I put it in water and brought a bunch of it up to my sister-in-laws when we went to my niece's birthday party. Betty used it on some nice fresh mozzarella and tomatoes she had.
This is one of my favorite things to do with fresh basil and the window of opportunity for the most delicious rendition is short, probably from the end of July when the first Jersey tomatoes appear to the middle of September. I put this together in a really simple way. I arrange slices of tomato and mozzarella in a concentric circles around a large plate. Then I chiffonade a good handful of basil. Then I drizzle the whole plate with extra virgin olive and finally sprinkle it with a few twits of freshly ground black pepper. This is one the most tasty and simple pleasure.
Another thing I did with the big bunch of basil is I made washed the leaves, put them in baggies and froze them. The girl at the farmer's market told me I could do this. I haven't tried it before so it will be interesting to see how it does.
I also made a beautiful frittata with fresh tomato, asiago cheese, and Parmesan cheese. I arranged the basil leaves in a pattern over the top of the frittata before popping under the broiler. That was pretty tasty.
Alas, I did not get to make the pesto that I had hoped to make. Unfortunately my blender container broke and I have to get a new one. Fortunately we still have a few weeks for bumper crops of basil, so I will give the pesto idea on more shot.
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