Saturday, July 14, 2012

Basil-St. Joseph's Wort

Part of the really fun and creative aspect of breakfast at our Bed and Breakfast Inn in North Carolina is picking the herbs we grow right on the patio at the back kitchen door.   This year we have basil, parsley, lemon thyme,thyme, chives, chocolate mint, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, tarragon and more.  All of them are thriving gustily due to the unusually hot and sunny weather we have experienced in Asheville.  When I use the term thriving gustily...I am being conservative.  The basil is leaping out of the pot and seems to be spawning others of its kind. 
I have invited both my sister and my neighbors and unknown passer by's I encounter while weeding our property to "please, have some basil."

All that said, I really do want to thank a guest of ours who, spying the basil, said "Have I got the basting sauce for you."
 
Summertime for Gary and I (largely, I think due to the last three years we spent in Florida means FISH- we lived in Key Largo.  Fish is everywhere in the Keys.  It is fresh and it is wonderful.  I was blessed to have a patient whose husband was employed as a fisherman.  To say I had the very best of the best fish that could be had in the Keys is an understatement. 
The moment my culinarily inspired guests shared this basil baste I began to see the fish on my grill.  Right after that....I also thought pork chops, grilled veggies, baking bread, a bit placed in guest eggs...I think you're going to think so too.

Anita's Basil Bonanza:

3 cups of fresh basil leaves (Get this picked, washed up and place in the air on paper towel to dry)

Place some good quality olive oil in your skillet, add and sweat down the following:

Finely chop shallots
Add a bit of cayenne/or black pepper (your palate and purpose for your basil sauce will dictate how much)
Fresh garlic (to your taste)
Tiny bit of salt
Juice of a lemon

Add your chopped fresh basil to this.

As I listened to Anita recount this recipe...I was thinking-Whoa,  a bit of honey too would be great...especially for the fish/meat on the grill application. Baste anything your little heart desires.  Great also as an addition to nearly anything from fresh pasta to egg dishes. 

 
Depending upon your intended use of this mixture you will add more or less olive oil.  More for basting and less for other uses making more of a paste.

Thanks Anita.  Some of the very best recipes At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn have been supplied by my guests.  Many of them have emotional connections to these recipes as they were made for them by grandmother's, aunts etc and are part of their family history.  Now this one can be part of yours. 

 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

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