Cookalong #4 - Basil

ann_tJanuary 1, 2013

Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Tue, Mar 3, 09 at 8:27

Compumom has chosen BASIL for this Cookalong.

Let's put our thinking caps on and come up with a wide variety of ideas for using it.

Our virtual dinner featuring basil will be on Saturday, March 14.

For those that may have missed the first Cookalong..... the idea here is to post hints, recipes and discuss the focus ingredient over the next two weeks. Recipes can use any form of the ingredient. Please mention the recipe source and whether it is one that you have already made (T+T) or one that you might be trying for the first time.

I'm going to make an attempt to link all the cookalongs together.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong #3 -- Carrots Follow-Up Postings:

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* Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Tue, Mar 3, 09 at 9:41

As a segue, here's what I'm planning to make next, another recipe from Orangette's blog. I have acini de pepe to use up. It combines carrots and basil. I can't afford the fresh stuff though. There is a chance that I still have some pesto cubes in the freezer. So I will have to make some adjustments. I also don't have fresh thyme. I can't afford to buy fresh herbs. But I do have dried herbs from my own garden from last summer. I'm also going to use canned tomatoes. But I know some of you lucky southern climate folks can get fresh ones!

Provençal Tomato Soup with Orange, Saffron, and Tiny Pasta Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006

This business of blanching, peeling, and seeding the tomatoes may be a little fussy, yes, but it makes for a lovely, soft tomato flavor. Plus, theres nothing quite so satisfying for the fingers as slipping the skins from a few tomatoes, or scooping out their seeds and juicy slop. And aside from that mild labor, this soup is pretty straightforward. With a stir every now and then, it mainly cooks itself. And it makes for easy eating on the front stoop a table for two with a view! on an early fall evening. With a hunk of bread and some cheese alongside, its dinner.

2 lb good-tasting tomatoes 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced (~2 cups) 1 medium carrot, finely chopped or cut into very thin rounds 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 4 large garlic cloves, minced 1 (3- by 1-inch) ribbon of fresh orange zest, minced 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme Scant ¼ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes ¼ tsp fennel seeds 1 Turkish bay leaf 3 Tbs good-tasting olive oil 2 Tbs tomato paste 4 ¾ cups water ¾ tsp salt, or to taste Pinch crumbled saffron threads 1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar ¼ cup small soup pasta, such as acini di pepe 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh Italian parsley ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil

Bring a 5- to 6-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife, and blanch them, 2 or 3 at a time, in the...

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