Friday, April 9, 2010

Broccoli & Basil

Yes...I know...that's not a match you typically think of when you think of each of these wonderful greens, but I made a very tasty dish last night using just that...broccoli and basil.  I'm happy to have basil back in my Texas garden.  It was a very long winter without it.  Basil is one of those herbs I use all the time.  It's fresh and adds so much flavor to almost any dish. 

And I picked the first head of broccoli from my garden yesterday!  Although it's much smaller than the fall crop, it is still beautiful and plenty big for my husband and me for dinner.  Besides, the weather is getting very warm and the broccoli will flower and bolt soon if I don't pick it.

I made a delicious pasta salad with steamed broccoli and a healthy and delicious basil walnut vinaigrette.  You really should try this one.  It's easy and very good for you.

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Basil/Walnut Vinaigrette
One head of broccoli, separated into florets and stems (if the stems are tough, peel them); chop the stems into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
Extra virgin olive oil

Steam broccoli till crisp tender then put in ice bath to stop cooking.  Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta until al dente; drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid.  Toss cooked pasta with a little olive oil and set aside.  While pasta is cooking, make basil/walnut vinaigrette.

Basil/Walnut Vinaigrette
makes about 1/2 cup
10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp low sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1Tbsp unsalted walnuts, toasted and chopped

In medium size mixing bowl or small jar, add basil, garlic, Dijon, vinegar, oil, broth, salt & pepper, whisking/shaking to combine thoroughly.

To finish dish:
Add broccoli and vinaigrette to pasta, stirring to coat thoroughly.  If pasta seems a bit dry, add a little of pasta cooking liquid to moisten.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Top pasta with toasted walnuts and if desired, grate a little Parmigianno Reggiano over the top and serve.

I served this delicious salad along side Baked Cod with Caesar Topping....yummy!

Buono Appetito!

No comments:

Post a Comment