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Aristotle Basil

Aristotle Basil, available from Surin Farms as a fully grown plant from late June into August.

aristotle basilAristotle Basil is a drawf Greek bush Basil with true basil taste. Its attractive, naturally mounded shape and amazing fragrance make it a perfect basil for containers, both indoors and out. Make sure your basil plant has sun and well drained soil. This variety can grow to 12-15". Harvest to no shorter than 6". The basil will quickly recover its shape. Enjoy all year round! 

Tip: for best results keeping basil through the winter, dig a generous hole and place in soil pot and all.  Bring into the house before the first frost, still leaving in same pot.  Placee in a sunny window for fresh basil all winter long.
 
* It is important to leave the basil in the same pot so that you do not disrupt the root system.
 
Surin Farms includes a time release fertilizer in the soil, so you will not need to fertilize until September.  Make sure the basil gets sun, water and the occasional "haircut" to remove flowers. 
 
Note:  unlike other basils, Aristotle is a dwarf variety that gets neither leggy nor woody, so it can be grown for a much longer time and nothing goes to waste.  The tips remain tender and are especially  flavorful.  Use them in the following recipe!
 
Garlic goes with BasilNothing goes better with fresh basil than garlic. Both are combined in our pungent yet sweet Basil Vinaigrette. Use it as a dressing on salads, a marinade for chicken, a flavor booster on sandwiches, or drizzled on your summer soups.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Master Recipe - Basil Vinaigrette

2 big bunches basil (3 cups)
4-6 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs balsamic vinegar (adjust to taste)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
 
Combine all ingredients in blender. No need to pre-process. Pulse until no large pieces remain. Adjust salt and vinegar to taste.  Refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass jar for up to a week.  Bring to room temperature before serving.
 

Tomato Caprese Salad

3 plump, fully ripe tomatoes
6 oz fresh mozzarella
Basil Vinaigrette (recipe above)
Garnish:
8-12 black oil cured olives
Fresh basil sprigs or chiffonade
 
Arrange 1/2" tomato slices on a plate, alternating with thin sliced of mozzarella. Drizzle with a generous amount of Basil Vinaigrette.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with good black olives and/or extra fresh basil. Serves 3-4 as a side dish for grilled meats.  Served in France as a simple starter course.
 
Serve with crunchy French or Italian style bread, used to sop up the vinegrette left on your plate!
 

Caprese Sandwich

Same ingredients as Caprese Salad, but arranged on fresh baguette that has been spread with the Basil Vinaigrette.
 
Wrap in tin foil for a great picnic, or serve sliced on a summer buffet. Keeps very well, since there is no mayonaise or meat to spoil.
 
Tips: 
 
Throw your bread on the grill for a few minutes to crunch it up just before serving.  This makes a huge difference.  Everyone asks me where I buy my bread!
 
DO NOT wrap crunchy baquette in plastic. It will make your bread mushy and chewy. Use foil instead.
 
NEVER STORE TOMATOES IN THE REFRIGERATOR!  It will kill the taste.  Keep tomatoes at room temperature, out of the sun and preferably not in contact with other produce.
 
 
 
 

Greek Salad

 Fresh, crunchy greens (such as Romaine)
2 ripe red tomatoes, cut in half then sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz plain Feta cheese (buy whole!)
8-12 Kalamata olives, sliced in half
Basil Vinaigrette (recipe above)
 
Place roughly torn greens in a large shallow serving bowl.  Add tomatoes, cucumber and onion.  Drizzle with1/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette (or to taste).  Toss.  Sprinkle top with crumbled Feta and olives.  Serves 3-4 as a side dish.
 
Add Grilled Basil Chicken breast strips (recipe below) to make into a complete meal salad for 2.
 
Serve with crunchy French or Italian bread.
 

Grilled Basil Chicken or Vegetables

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken, or
20 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, or
Halved sweet peppers, zucchini, onion, eggplant...
1/3 cup Basil Vinaigrette
 
Place chicken pieces or vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette in a zip lock bag.  Let marinate 10-15 minutes on the counter or up tp 24 hours in the refrigerator.
 
Grill as usual.  I like to turn off the grill when I think my chicken is about done and then let rest in closed, hot grill to let chicken to continue to gently finish cooking and stay warm until people are ready to eat. This way is it cooked though, but not dry and overcooked.
 
Serves 3-4
 
* Grilled Basil Chicken makes a tasty sandwich using more vinaigrette as a spread and adding your favorite fresh or grilled vegetables.
 

Basil Fettuccine

12 oz dry fettuccine
1/3 cup Basil Vinaigrette
Shaved Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
 
Cook fettuccine in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Put fettuccine back into cooking pot along with Basil Vinaigrette and reserved water. Toss.  Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy.
 
Serves 4-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a main course.
 
Full Meal Idea
 
Serve Basil Grilled Chicken, Basil Fettuccine and Greek Salad with fresh bread and your favorite red wine for a wonderful summer meal.  
 
Do ahead: make vinegrette, marinate chicken and wash greens (refrigerate in a clean dish towel). 
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