Wednesday, June 6, 2012

garden to table challenge - BASIL

photo taken May 2012
The first food to come out of my garden (in any significant quantities) is basil.  Last summer I fell in love with basil, and it was one of the first things I 'knew' I wanted to plant at my new house.  Since I don't have enough sun to have the bountiful crop I had last summer, I'm compensating with quantity.  I have planted 7 basil plants so far, and I'm thinking about adding more.  Last summer I discovered how easy basil is to freeze, and I would love to have a few full good sized freezer bags full to last me through the winter next year.

My first use of my basil is this simple, summer, go to pasta dish.  There are no measurements; it's up to your taste and the number of people you are serving...this is one you really can't mess up.

Cooked Pasta, drained
Fresh Basil, chopped
Garlic, chopped
Sun Dried tomatoes
Olive oil (I use olive oil infused with Alchemy Spice Italian seasoning)
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Feta cheese, crumbled
Salt, optional when using feta

  • In the same dish you cooked the pasta in: drizzle olive oil, and add fresh basil, garlic, salt, Parmesan Cheese, and sun dried tomatoes.  
  • Mix everything together, cover, and let sit for 3-5 minutes.  (If you have an electric stove, I usually do this on the burner I cooked the pasta on, but with the burner turned off.  This little bit of heat is great, but doesn't scorch the pasta or melt the cheese)  
  • Uncover the pasta, mix in some feta, and serve.

I love this because it's quick, tasty, and only uses one dish.  Since I'm washing dishes by hand, every little bit helps.

I hope you enjoy this simple, early summer pasta!  For more in-season recipes visit Greenish Thumb's Garden to Table Challenge


  1. That dish couldn't be easier and yes one-pot meals are even good for those who have a dishwasher.

  2. Basil is nice to grow in garden. There would be sweet aroma in the garden and eventually in the kitchen!

  3. I grew basil last year just for the wonderful aroma! Every day as I worked in the garden, I would pinch off a sprig and stick it in my shirt pocket or in my gardening apron - wonderful! And the basil just bunched out more!
    I love basil in pasta and tomato dishes, too.
    Happy gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie

    1. Basil really has turned into one of my favorites, you're right - the smell is amazing!

  4. I've got a decent little herb garden this year, but only TWO basil plants came up (I direct-seeded), and that makes me sad. However, the dill, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and sage are doing great. I've been plucking them and doing all sorts of kitchen experiments. Latest discovery: herbs in green salads are GREAT.

    1. My seed experiments did not do well at all this year....I think grow lights are in order for next year. I need to start doing more salads, herbs sound like a great idea!

  5. yum - that's my kind of pasta dish. My kids love these ingredient combos too. I also compensate with quantity in my good-deal-shaded garden.

    1. I've learned you just have to work with what you've got!


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