Fresh Basil Recipe Ideas

Fresh Basil Recipe IdeasCourtesy of Indiana Regional Medical Center

Balsamic Bruschetta
8 plum tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf French bread, toasted and sliced
In a bowl, toss together tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve on toasted bread slices.
Great additions: sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and prosciutto

Tomato, Watermelon & Basil Skewers
Ingredients:1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (4-5 pound) watermelon, cut into 32 1 1/2 inch cubes
32 small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Wooden skewers or appetizer picks
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Starting with the watermelon squares, push the watermelon to the very tip of the skewer.  Then skewer a basil leaf, then a tomato half.  Continue with another watermelon, basil leaf, and tomato half.  Place the skewer on serving platter so it stands upright, using the lowest watermelon square as a base.  Continue with the remaining skewers.
Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and the olive oil.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis,

Pesto Sauce
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped pine nuts (may replace up to 1/4 cup pine nuts with ground walnuts)4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic and cheese.  Pour oil in slowly while still mixing.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread.

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