From Memorial Day to Labor Day, basil is constantly on hand in our kitchens. We blend it into garlicky pestos, sprinkle it over grilled pizzas, and toss whole leaves into our fresh salads. It's hard to find a summer dish that isn't improved by a handful of this bright green, fragrant herb. If you're in need of a few new ideas to trim back an enormous pot or use up that second bunch you couldn't resist buying, then take a look through these ten favorite recipes for inspiration.
Once you start following Julie Lee on Instagram, you'll find yourself eagerly watching your feed on the weekends — because that's when she usually posts photos of her food collages, dizzyingly beautiful compositions of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers she finds at farmers markets and around her Los Angeles neighborhood.
I talked to Julie to learn a little more about the process of making collages in her dining-room-turned-photo-studio, from the ingredients that inspire her to the tools she uses to construct her vivid images.
Surely everyone is familiar with the classic pineapple upside-down cake, topped with rings of canned pineapple and dotted with neon-red maraschino cherries, all nestled in a brown sugar glaze? What many people don't know is that nearly any fruit can be subbed in for the pineapple-cherry combo with fresh, delicious results. Read on for our master recipe for making upside-down cakes with fresh fruits all summer long!
Donut peaches from the Albany Farmers' Market in Albany, CA.
Back in the day, when my mom and I went to the grocery store we would buy strawberries and peaches and apricots. It never occurred to us that strawberries and peaches and apricots came in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and flavor profiles, and that each of these varieties had its own name. We weren't aware that we could be purchasing a Sun Crest Peach or that the Albion strawberries were in season but the Chandlers were coming soon.
But things are a little different these days, at least where I shop.
Dill and I have had an on-and-off-again relationship over the years. All too often, this herb just seems a little too forward, a little too presumptuous with the way it permeates every bite. But I think I've now discovered the one place where I will always welcome dill with open arms: in my salads.
This past February, I had the extreme good fortune of accompanying my family (or, really, inviting myself) on a vacation to St. Barthes. February in Seattle is one of the darker months, so this was a most welcome break. Since St. Barthes is an island with limited produce deliveries from the mainland, it was a common occurrence that restaurants or grocery stores would be out of a dish or ingredient "until the next boat comes." There was little urgency about it; people just made do. And one of the ways restaurants made do was to swap ingredients in and out, as was the case with this pesto.
Q: I recently purchased a pineapple mint leaf plant. It smells just like a pineapple, but tastes like a milder version of mint. Other than mojitos, are there any other recipes in which I can use this fun plant? I've found a a nice place in my apartment and the plant is thriving and growing rapidly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
A new cookbook by Deborah Madison is always much anticipated in my household, so when Vegetable Literacy was first released, I was really looking forward to spending some time with it in the kitchen before writing this review. I was not surprised to find that the recipes were well-written and fool-proof, for this is the hallmark of any cookbook by Deborah Madison. Nor was I surprised that it was beautifully produced with a good binding, heavy paper, and lovely photographs, as it was published by Ten Speed Press and they know how to do cookbooks.
So I cannot report any surprises, but I can express my delight for this lovely, well-reseached, vegetable-forward celebration of the relationships between the plants we find in our garden (or market) and how they play out with delicious results in our kitchen.
Fresh oregano has a robust, woodsy flavor that makes it one of our go-to herbs in the kitchen — particularly in the summer when we can buy big bundles at the farmers market or step out on the porch to gather our own! Here are five of my favorite ways to use it right now.