Tip, Trick, & a Recipe: Basil

Fresh basil is one of the headiest, aromatic herbs and the smell of it makes me think of summer. Love dried basil in soups and stews, love fresh basil in salads, pesto (of course), pasta, bruschetta, and anything else I can think of. This is one of my most favorite fresh herbs!

But it isn’t just the flavor that is so good—it’s also good for you. Basil is high in vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, plus lots of trace minerals. Add to that the fact its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities make it a healing herb, what’s not to love about basil?

Here’s Today’s TRICK:

Grow your own! It is so easy to grow in the ground, in a container, or with a start from a nursery. When you take the leaves off the top, it will keep growing until your first frost.

Here’s a TIP:

Remember just the leaves; the stalks are bitter. To make a chiffonade (thin ribbonlike slices of fresh basil), take all your leaves, pile them on top of each other, roll them up like a big cigar then using kitchen shears, snip away. Fast and easy!

And your Basil RECIPE:

Pasta Salad Primavera

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Course Salads, Side Dishes
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups pasta shells uncooked
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 3 3/4 cups zucchini sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red onion minced
  • 1 cup fresh corn cut from the cob cut from the cob
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese chopped

Instructions
 

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, steam the carrots (for 4 minutes) then add zucchini cook just until tender, another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Place in a bowl with ice to stop cooking, then drain and add the vegetables in a large bowl, along with the bell pepper, onion and corn.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Add pasta to bowl and toss lightly.

Notes

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a big green salad.
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For more recipes like this, check out Dinner Answers.

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