The main herb of summer with a wide variety of social/cultural meanings across the planet. In France, basil is known as the royal herb, in Ancient Greece it was a symbol of hatred, in Portugal it is given, in a pot, to a person one might be courting. In India and several Orthodox Church religions, Basil is holy, thought to open the gates to heaven and offer safe passage!
- Strawberry-Basil Shortcake– This recipe is Kate’s specialty. About twice a year, Kate will make a batch of biscuits that we subsequently freeze (since we really should not eat 12 buttery biscuits, just the two of us, in the days it takes for them to stale). The summer-time batch is almost always accompanied by fresh strawberries and basil!
- Green Beans, Basil and Chard Stems– this is a tasty way to use those chard stems!
- Cantaloupe, Basil, Mozzarella Salad– yuuuuuuuuum!
Storage information: Basil stores best at room temperature and should last this way for 4-5 days.
- give your basil a fresh stem cut and place in a glass of water on the counter
- make sure that water does not rise all the way to the basil leaves or the leaves touching the water will turn brown
- place a plastic bag over the leaves and cup
I found a love for okra living in Senegal, West Africa, where okra is a staple food eaten with every meal. Many people do not like that okra can sometimes be slimy and try to cover that texture with a deep frying, but I fully embrace its slime. In fact, I seek the sliminess of okra! Usually, I steam it and put it in the food processor with scallions, salt, parsley, and garlic until it is the texture of that super stretchy child’s toy, gak. We usually mix this strange textured substance with rice and it gives the rice a delightful stickiness and green herbed flavor! It’s so good and good for you, that my mouth is watering just writing this. In case that does not sound like anything you would ever want to put in your mouth, here are more okra options:
- 6 Slime Free Recipes
- Orange Balsamic Okra– this is an amazing recipe and the crisp okra is so nice. If you aren’t into this flavor palette or are just looking for something slightly more simple, tossing the okra in olive oil and salt and baking until crisp is just as good. For an added touch, paprika is real nice.
Storage information: If handled in this way, your okra should store for 2 weeks.
- Do not wash your okra until you are ready to use it
- Wrap your okra in a paper towel and put in a paper bag in the fridge.
- If you do not think you will use your okra within 2 weeks, give them a 1 minute blanche and then put them in a ziplock in the freezer
Shishito & jimmy nardello peppers
Shishitos and Jimmy Nardello peppers are some of our household favorites. Each day, throughout their growing season, we eat these as an appetizer before dinner. We usually toss them in olive oil, throw some salt on them, and place them in the toaster oven on broil until each side is blistered. You can find shishitos on almost every appetizer menu in the city, but Nardellos are more rare, though equally as brilliant and delicious.
- Roasted Shishitos– all over the city you see people putting interesting twists on this treat. I’ve seen people add everything bagel spice, cheese, or mustard. All have been delectable. Get as creative as you’d like for this plentiful pepper.
- Ricotta Toast and Nardellos– burrata is also a great substitute for the ricotta.
Storage information: Peppers should store for 2-3 weeks
- Do not wash your peppers until you are ready to use them
- Put them in the produce drawer of your refrigerator
- If you have a lot of peppers you can chop them up and place them on a baking sheet in the freezer
- Once they are frozen, slide them on into a ziplock and use them throughout the winter
I thought tomatillos were only for salsa verde when I first started growing veggies, but boy was I wrong. Tomatillos are versatile, beautiful, and tangy. They compliment almost everything.
- Chilaquiles– you most certainly do not need to BBQ or charr the tomatillos over a camp fire. You can simply put them in the oven on a high temperature until blackened. But if you are having a late brunch, it certainly is a fun part of the experience.
- Classic Salsa Verde– I often roast everything together before putting the ingredient in the food processor, but it takes more time and is fully unnecessary.
- Shakshuka– is a new addition to my recipe repertoire. I had a version of it for the first time at Italian Market and it was so good, I had to figure out how to make it on my own. Even better though that instead of the traditional tomato sauce, the tomatillo is in the spotlight. Note: you can use any type of kale you have in this recipe.
- Tomatillo Bloody Mary
Storage information: tomatillos handled in this way should store for 2-3 weeks
- Leave the husks on the tomatillos until you are ready to use them (once you remove the husks, the tomatillos will be a little slimy. Give them a good rinse to rectify this situation)
- Place them in a paper bag and put them in the crisper or veggie drawer in your fridge