Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For the scent of basil

This morning I cut some of the fresh, beautiful basil that is happily growing in my garden. It grew so generously from seed that I planted it with the vegetables as well as in two pots on the front sidewalk and still had some to give away. When I cut it, the aroma is so enticing that I want to use it immediately.

So that’s what I did, almost. I brought it inside, washed it, dried it and put half of it into a bag; the other half went into a container with chives. When my hunger awakened, it would be the centerpiece of my lunch for the day.

But oh, the garden had some other fresh goodies to add to the lunch, also. When it came time to prepare it, I chopped zucchini, sweet onion and garlic from the garden, along with part of a red pepper from the store. I sautéed them all in olive oil and butter, with a little salt, then tossed some al dente penne pasta with it, sprinkling on some parmesan cheese to stick to the veggies and pasta. It seemed a little dry, so I added a bit more olive oil and tossed again. I filled my pasta bowl then topped it with grated pecorino romano cheese.

Yes, I felt like I was in heaven. A good bowl of pasta can make me happy any day of the week. And it took less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Just in case you’re growing basil, too, check out the piece from NPR about this year’s basil blight. If I see it coming my way, I’ll harvest as much as I can and bring one of the pots inside to see if it will continue to grow, free of blight. It will just depend on which way the wind blows.

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