Blueberry, Cucumber, Basil Salad with Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette Prep time 15 mins. Vanilla bean vinaigrette pairs perfectly with a fresh blueberry, cucumber, and basil salad. Author: Lindsey Johnson Recipe type: Salad Cuisine: American Serves: 4 Ingredients
2-3 cups Fresh basil leaves
1 cucumber, thinly sliced (peel if waxed)
1 cup blueberries, washed
¼ to ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
For Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette:
¼ to ½ vanilla bean, scraped
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon salt
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together or shake in a small jar. Taste and adjust to taste by adding more honey or salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
Arrange the basil leaves, sliced cucumber and blueberries on plates. Sprinkle with the pepitas and drizzle with a little of the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
How to Make Pesto Makes about 1 cup What You Need Ingredients
5-6 ounces (2 healthy bunches or about 6 cups gently packed) basil leaves, or any other green
1/2 cup pine nuts, or any other nut
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, or any other hard cheese
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Equipment Blender or food processor
Instructions 1. Blend Half the Basil With Nuts, Cheese, and Garlic: Combine half of the basil with the nuts, cheese, cloves, and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend continuously until the ingredients are finely chopped.
2. Blend the Rest of the Basil: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the basil. Blend until a uniform paste has formed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Stream in the Olive Oil: With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Less olive oil will make a paste good for spreading on sandwiches and pizzas; more will make a sauce better for pastas and stirring into soup. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue blending as needed until the olive oil is emulsified into the basil and the pesto looks uniform.
4. Taste and Adjust: Taste the pesto and add more salt, garlic, nuts or cheese as needed to taste.
5. Storing Pesto: Pesto will darken and brown very quickly, but will still be tasty and fresh for several days. For best appearance, use it right away. If storing, store it in the smallest container possible and thoroughly press the pesto to eliminate air pockets. Pour a little olive oil over the surface, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week. Pesto can also be frozen for several months.
Strawberry Basil Margaritas makes 1 pitcher, or about 8 servings
1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate
10 strawberries (or 12 if you're using smaller ones from the farmer's market or your backyard.)
8 basil leaves
2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila (gold or silver)
Empty the limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cans of water and 1 1/2 (18 ounces, or 2 1/4 cups) cans of tequila (or a bit less, if you don't want your drinks to be quite as strong).
Hull the strawberries, slice lengthwise, and add to the pitcher. Crumple the basil a little in your hands (this will help the basil flavor release into the drink) and add it to the pitcher, too. Place the pitcher, covered, in the fridge overnight, or for at least four hours.
When you remove the pitcher from the fridge, your margaritas will be a lovely pale pink color. Now all you have to do is serve them and wait for the compliments to pour in.