We have grown basil in our garden for the past two years. This year the basil plant is very happy and growing like crazy. It’s hard to keep up with the plant to try to catch it before it flowers. They say that the basil becomes too bitter if it flowers before picking. This means I pick some basil every 3 days. We’ve made a few rounds of pesto (and froze it) and I have also dehydrated some basil. I like using the dried (or fresh) basil on pizza and spaghetti sauce.
I use a Nesco dehydrator and arrange the leaves on the trays after washing them. Then I run the dehydrator for 24-30 hrs at 105 F. Some say basil can be dried in less than 24 hrs…but that’s not true in hot and humid Texas.
With the next batch of figs from our tree, I decided to try dehydrating them. I picked a bundle from the tree and wash and cut of the stems. Then I either halved or quartered the figs before putting them … Continue reading →
With my new Pepper Plate app I’ve been excited to try some new and easy recipes out. The first two I tried were Spicy Pesto Chicken Pasta and Tomato Basil Pasta. I used the basil and cilantro from my garden. It’s nice that this year keeping up with my garden has paid off. Also a special thanks to Nikki Pietragallo for making the pesto with my basil for this dish! Both dishes were a hit!
Teena’s Spicy Pesto Chicken and Pasta
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch pieces
6 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Whole Pine Nuts
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place farfalle pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix in the chile paste and chicken. Cook and stir chicken 10 minutes, or until evenly browned and juices run clear.
Toss the cooked farfalle, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and cilantro into the skillet, and continue cooking just until heated through.
My attempt at spicy pesto pasta.
Blow Your MIND” Tomato Basil Pasta
Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! – Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta
12 ounces pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Add shrimp or meatballs.
Use rotel instead of diced tomatoes.
Makes a boat load.
We grew corn!!! This year I have stayed on top of watering the garden plants and many have survived. Even the corn has survived. I planted 4 corn stalks for kicks but really wasn’t sure what would possibly grow since usually corn is grown in large fields with many corn.
Just in case there is a hurricane heading our way we are prepared with a lot of peach salsa. All we will need to find is are a lot of tortilla chips! This took a long time and lots of chopping. Good thing the salsa is tasty. After all the peaches are off the tree…I don’t want to see a peach until May 2014!
I love my iphone. I can’t put it down. It makes me happy…so I might as well make it a useful tool. For this years garden I found a Plant Planner App to keep track of the plants in the garden. It also tells you when to plant each plant and other plant specific details. This doesn’t mean I won’t kill the plants, it just means I’ll keep better track of what plants I’ve killed along the way. 😉