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Fresh Basil 3 Ways

Fresh Basil 3 Ways

2013 basil.jpg

A lot of recipes out there demonstrate how to make a dish that will be big enough for a family, group or party. The way my life is though, most of the time I'm looking for something fast and easy to make throughout the week for myself, or at the most, the two of us. I'll often do some prep on Sunday - whether that's just chopping/cutting individual ingredients or grilling veggies to have throughout the week. I wanted to take advantage of things that are at their peak right now - Basil, Watermelon & Strawberries. 

Seedless watermelon (I didn't grow)

Seedless watermelon (I didn't grow)

This first recipe, Watermelon Salad with Basil & Feta fits the bill for easy weeknight assembly. I cut up the watermelon, red onion and squeezed out some lime juice ahead of time. Then, when I'm ready to make/eat the salad, I pick basil off the plant. This keeps things as fresh and as easy as possible to make when I need a healthy meal after a long day at work.

The other recipes below, Watermelon Basil Cooler & Strawberry, Rhubarb & Basil Prosecco, are also easy to make. They're very refreshing cocktails for summer. Enjoy while the ingredients are at their peak.


Watermelon Salad with Basil & Feta

Watermelon Salad with Basil & Feta

Watermelon Salad with Basil & Feta

Ingredients (for individual portion)

  • 5 oz fresh watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp chopped red onion
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade
  • 3/4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 TBSP crumbled Feta
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, red onion & basil
  2. Pour in lime juice & olive oil
  3. Add Feta crumbles
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Toss together

Watermelon Basil Cooler

Watermelon Basil Cooler

Watermelon Basil Cooler

Ingredients

  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of crushed watermelon
  • 2 tsp white sugar (or a packet of Splenda if you don't want sugar)
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 oz vodka (leave this out for a "virgin" cocktail)
  • 2 oz tonic water
  • Crushed ice

Directions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the lemon juice, watermelon, sugar and basil leaves.
  2. Add vodka to the shaker with a couple of ice cubes. 
  3. Shake it up.
  4. Add tonic to the shaker and stir (it's bubbly, so don't shake the heck out of it; stir it). Put the top/strainer back on the shaker.
  5. Pour the mixture into a tumbler filled with crushed ice.
  6. String some cubes of watermelon on a cocktail straw and put the stem of a basil cluster in the top of the straw for garnish.

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Basil Prosecco

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Basil Prosecco

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Basil Prosecco

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz of Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  • 4 small strawberries, quartered
  • 4 basil leaves

Directions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together simple syrup, strawberries and basil.
  2. Add an ice cube to the shaker and shake it up. (This is optional, but I wanted my mixture chilled.)
  3. Pour 3/4 oz of the muddled mixture into a champagne glass and fill the remainder of the glass with your favorite Prosecco.
  4. Enjoy!


I used Morris Kitchen Rhubarb Syrup. Made in Brooklyn, but found in our wine store in NJ.

I used Morris Kitchen Rhubarb Syrup. Made in Brooklyn, but found in our wine store in NJ.

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