Discover less is more with a few, fresh ingredients.

I draw my inspiration today from one plant in my garden. Each year I plant basil; it’s a good companion for the tomatoes. This year I purchased just one and it’s growing better than if I had planted three! Like everything else I’m trying to do to simplify my life, I cut back significantly on what and how much I planted and discovered for myself that less is definitely more!  So keeping it simple, here are five recipes featuring basil each with three ingredients (not including olive oil, garlic and the obligatory “salt and pepper to taste”).

  1. Basil, tomato & mozzarella salad (a.k.a. Caprese): I’m sure you’ve heard of this! Slice ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella about ¼” thick and layer on a platter alternating with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. Basil, watermelon & balsamic salad: A great side dish! Scoop or chunk some watermelon and mix with chopped basil, drizzle with Balsamic vinegar just before serving.
  3. Basil pesto with parmesan and walnuts (olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper): Gather 2 cups packed of fresh, clean basil leaves. Place basil, ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup grated parmesan, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 clove of roughly chopped garlic, and ½ tsp salt and pepper each in your food processor. Pulse a few times, and then process until smooth. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use. Makes a great dip with crackers, use it as a condiment on sandwiches, or toss with pasta.
  4. Basil, tomato & brie sandwich: Taken from the fast food restaurant, Pret A  Manger, this one is so delicious, I could eat it every day! Simply place a couple slices of tomato, a few basil leaves and some brie cheese on a baguette and enjoy!
  5. Basil, lemon, and watermelon water: Fill a tall glass with a few chunks of watermelon, a couple slices of lemon, a torn basil leaf or two, some ice if you like, and water. If you want to make it fancy, use more basil and lemon slices to garnish your glass. This is so refreshing, especially when someone else makes it for me.

If you try one of these recipes, let me know. I deliberately tried not to be too specific listing amounts of each ingredient. They’ll be delicious made your own way.

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Jen Vondenbrink August 26, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Beth I love Basil! I can't get enough of it in the summer. I definitely have had the caprese salad, but my mouth was watering for the basil, tomatoe and brie sandwich! That might be on my dinner menu tonight since I picked some nice ripe tomatoes this morning. I'll let you know.


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