Basil is a common herb in most of our kitchens, but did you know that besides tasting good in our chicken and pasta dishes, it can be used toward having more healthy bodies? It is an excellent alternative health treatment for many minor ailments.
Grown originally in Asia and the Middle East, basil traveled the world along the spice trail. It has been grown and used for 5,000 years, has hundreds of varieties and is now cultivated in many countries. All basil varieties have unique and individual chemical make-ups; and yet, the base medicinal properties remain consistent from one strain to another.
Italians celebrated the herb alongside fresh mozzarella and tomatoes to create a refreshing Caprese salad or summery pizza topping. Basil is also the basis for your homemade pesto. Add to a food processor with walnuts or pine nuts, garlic and olive oil to create a zesty spread, and set it out alongside some fresh bread when entertaining guests.
As for sweet things, basil, pineapple and strawberries are an amazing trio. Combine the three ingredients to make flavored water – perfect for hiking, biking and yoga. If you’re really feeling adventurous, basil and strawberry ice cream is a wonderful summertime dessert to share with family, friends and neighbors during summer barbeques.
Today, I would like to share a Watermelon Gazpacho recipe that you and your guests will absolutely love. We often recommend this to our guests for catering events during the summertime. It is a simple dish and will take you less than an hour to prepare. Cheers to good health!
1 red bell pepper seeds removed
6-8 roma tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber – peeled
1.5 lbs. watermelon seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves + several leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (You can use white wine vinegar)
3 tablespoon tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse all your produce. Roughly chop all the produce and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add lime juice, white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves.
Serve in stemless wine glasses or pretty bowls. Garnish with your extra basil leaves.
May we suggest serving with seasoned or grilled Ciabatta bread?
Store in the fridge for up to two days. Serve chilled.
By Debbie Maranville
Goods from Garden, Catering & Events is located at the Prescott Gateway Mall. 3250 Gateway Blvd. #516 Prescott, AZ 86303 928-237-3214 firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Maranville is the co-owner of The Natural Healing Garden/Goods from the Garden. The Natural Healing Garden/ Goods from the Garden can be reached at 928-237-4116 or 928-237-3214 or Naturalhealinggarden@gmail.com