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In your box this week:

  1. LAST OF:  Tomatoes
  2. LAST OF:  Potatoes
  3. LAST OF:  Cilantro
  4. LAST OF:  Basil
  5. Mint
  6. Thyme
  7. Fennel
  8. NEW!  Sage
  9. NEW!  Onion Chives
  10. NEW!  Parsley
  11. Kale
  12. Beans
  13. Cucumbers (LAST OF??)
  14. Zucchini / Summer Squash (LAST OF??)
  15. Carrots
  16. Arugula
  17. Peppers:  All of them this week are sweet EXCEPT the long skinny green Cayenne Hot Pepper


HERB CONFUSION??  We can help!

From Left to Right:

  1. Basil: Fresh, dried, frozen (chop in food processor first).  Use in pesto, Italian dishes, sauces, soups.
  2. Onion Chives: Best used fresh.  Chop up fresh as garnish for salad, potatoes, or tacos, etc.  Can also be used cooked.
  3. Mint: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Mint calms an upset stomach.  Dry it and then crumble it into a jar for later use.  Last winter I had food poisoning and mint tea helped A LOT.  I went through almost a quart of dried mint leaves in a week, and was SO GLAD I had them on hand in the cupboard.
  4. Thyme: Fresh or dried.  Usually used cooked, such as in Italian dishes, hotdishes, and soups.
  5. Cilantro: Best fresh, could probably be dried?  Use it fresh in salsa, spring rolls, quesadillas, with fruit, in cornbread, or as a last second addition to sautes or soups.  Cilantro also makes a great pesto!
  6. Parsley: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Another good pesto candidate!  Also used in Italian dishes, soups, sprinkled in salads (try it!), or just generally added to pretty much anything.
  7. Sage: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Use it in fall cooking, like with squash soup, potato dishes, and meat things.

FRESH:  Keep fresh by putting it in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Basil is picky–wet leaves turn black in the fridge.  Sometimes it works well to put basil in a vase on your counter.  Or put a towel around it in the bag to catch condensation.

DRIED:  Just hang the bunch upside down in a place that gets some air movement but that is out of direct sunlight.  Stagnant air could facilitate molding, and the sun zaps nutrition and flavor.  If you are like me, you always think, “Of course I will remember what herb this is!” but then when it is all dried up it is hard to tell if it was Oregano or Mint or Parsley or what.  So just LABEL IT now and thank yourself later.

FROZEN:  I have found it easiest to chop up the dry herb with a food processor, and then put in a bag in the freezer.  No water or oil mixed in means the herbs stay crumbly and I can just scoop out however much I want.  The super deluxe way of preventing them from clumping up would be to pour the ground-up herbs onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze them flat, and then pour them into a plastic bag after they are frozen.  Some people like to freeze them as pesto, or in oil or water, perhaps in an ice cube tray, and then transfer the frozen herb cubes into a plastic bag.


From CSA member (and newlywed!) Amy:
Here’s that fennel recipe I was talking about, it’s in Asparagus to Zucchini – very yummy and easy.    

Baked Fennel
3 large fennel bulbs
vegetable oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon vegetable seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut tops off fennel bulbs and cut each bulb in half.  Lay fennel, cut side down, on an oiled 8-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, vegetable seasoning, and pepper.  Pour 1 cup of broth in pan and cover tightly with foil; bake 15 minutes.  Turn fennel over and bake, covered, 15 minutes longer.  Add more broth if necessary to keep fennel from burining to bottom of pan.  Uncover pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Turn oven up to 450 and bake until crumbs brown. Six servings. 

Thanks to CSA member Syneva:

2 zucchini, 1 finely chopped and 1 grated
1 small onion, chopped or 1/2 cup green onion
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped (you could also try cilantro)
vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, chesse, all spices, adding in flour and cornmeal last.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Drop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter into the skillet, and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula.  Turn fritters over when the center appears dry.  Cook on the other side until golden brown.  Set aside and keep warm.  Add more oil to skillet as needed, and continue with remaining batter.  It is essential that all fritters are cooked immediately after stirring in flour or the batter will get glutinous.

Thanks to CSA members Aisling & Siobhan for sharing a recipe and photo of how they enjoyed the veggies from CSA week #16!

 (For 4 people)
You need:
    * 1.5 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
    * 4 cups vegetable stock
    * 8 3/4 oz red cooked beets, peeled and diced
    * 1 large shallot (150 g) + 1 extra shallot
    * 1.5 oz parmesan grated and shaved
    * 9 Tbsp dry white wine
    * 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
    * 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
    * 2 Tbsp olive oil
    * 3 Tbsp butter
    * About 3 Tbsp pine nuts, dry-roasted
    * Salt and pepper
    * Cook the beets, peel and dice them.
    * Chop the first shallot.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallot and cook for a few min before adding the diced beets.
      Cook for 5 mins or so on medium to low heat. Remove from heat.
    * Heat the vegetable stock and keep warm.
    * Chop the tarragon and basil.
    * Grate 2/3 of the parmesan. Shave the rest and keep on the side.
    * Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter in a pot and add the second chopped shallot. Cook for 2 to 3 min before adding the rice to coat for 1 min.
    * Then add the white wine and cook until it is absorbed.
    * Add 1 ladleful of warm broth and wait until it is absorbed to add another one. Repeat until you have 1 ladleful left.
    * Add the beets and mix gently. Check your rice and add more broth accordingly.
    * Stop the heat, add the grated parmesan, the herbs and the rest of the butter. Cover and let rest for 2 min.
    * Serve with shaved parmesan, fresh basil leaves and dry-roasted pine nuts.

Here Siobhan and friends show off some beautiful carrot soup!

Wow!   …what else can we say? A great way to be present with the summer before it’s gone. We suggest adding some basil leaves in addition to the lettuce leaves.  And if you want a local bacon connection, our neighbors have a family hog business (they raise their pigs in Nicollet and Princeton, MN, and they grow corn and soybeans next to us.)  You can find Compart’s Duroc bacon at the Linden Hills Co.op, and I believe also at Lund’s, Byerly’s, and maybe also at Kowalski’s.  It is not organic or pasture-raised, but if you are not buying based on that criteria it is a really great choice.

This is from p. 208 of the Featherstone Farm CSA cookbook, “Tastes from Valley to Bluff”
Serves 6.

[note from Chris: I think it’d be fine to substitute green onions and garlic chives from our farm for this.]

2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
3 or 4 radishes, sliced
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1/3 cup green peppers, coarsely diced
1 cup sliced cauliflower
1 medium tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 to 4 sprigs parsley, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced and crushed
Several leaves fresh basil, chopped
6 Tablespoons salad oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Onion or Garlic powder
Seasoned Salt
Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Toss the zucchini, radishes, onion, green peppers, cauliflower, tomato, parsley, garlic, and basil together in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salad oil and lemon juice.

2. Dissolve the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour over the salad.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic powders, seasoned salt, and grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Chill several hours before serving.

My friend Samantha made this for me on the 4th of July– it was fast, easy, and really delicious!

1. Slice up some artisan-type bread.
2. In a small bowl mix together olive oil, some chopped garlic (or garlic chives), and a handful of chopped basil.
3. Spoon oil mixture onto one side of the pieces of bread.
4. Grill or Broil the bread (we broiled ours) until it is toasted to your liking.
5. enjoy!

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