Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spice Rack Challenge : Basil

Chapter One:
Search around for a great way to use basil – of course it must be paired with other summer essentials: tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant.

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:
Go to the garden and see that there are only TWO basil plants this year…… spend some time wondering how that happened. Not enough for homemade pesto, sigh……. Will I have to purchase basil?? Horrors…..Is there still time to plant more? 

Chapter Three and a half:
Looking for a super way to use tons of basil? click here for my pesto recipe.

Chapter Four:
Make a trip to the health food store for corn meal.

Chapter Five:
Gather the simple ingredients and study the recipe. (Ellie Krieger’s recipes sometimes have way too many steps, but they are always worth the effort.)

 Chapter Six:
Make the crust.

Chapter Seven:
Bake with foil and beans.

Chapter Eight:
Bake longer without the foil and beans.

Chapter Nine:
Sautee shallots.

Chapter Ten:
Thinly slice all the tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. 

Chapter Eleven:
Slowly roast the veggies.

Chapter Twelve:
Allow everything to cool.

Chapter Thirteen:
Layer all the goodness - veggies, cheeses, basil– beautiful really…. 

Chapter Fourteen:
Bake and serve with couscous salad.

We absolutely loved the layered veggies in this tart, but did not enjoy the crust. It was too dry and ‘corny’ for our taste.  This recipe only calls for 2 T butter and 2 T oil in the crust, whereas in other crusts there in an entire stick of butter and sometimes even more fat (cheese, or whatever.) So, if you’re looking to curb calories, this crust is fine. If you’re looking for a flaky bite, search for a different crust. If you want a delicious combination of roasted veggies, look no further.

When the recipe says use 1/3 of an eggplant and a medium zucchini, you are left with these sad leftovers….. what to do? Roast them and put them on a pizza?

One Year Ago:
Oatmeal Bread - I make this all the time
Tomato Appetizer Pie - a summer classic


  1. This looks great. I feel embarassed asking this, but why the foil and beans? I'm sure this is an important step, but I don't know why.

  2. This is a lovely tart, I see why you wanted to make it. We have not been having luck with the basil either. Hope you week is going good.

  3. I think those veggies would be fantastic on a grilled pizza. They're my summer favorite. Maybe with ricotta cheese and basil :)

  4. That looks absolutely yumm! I enjoyed your style of writing a lot, happy to follow you :)

  5. Hi friends - thanks for the comments!
    @Mrs.Stranded - I have no idea why the beans and foil, this crust was not a light pastry..... As I mentioned above, Ellie's recipes can be filled with lots of steps!
    @Gina, I will really miss having my usual 5-6 prolific basil plants this August.... might have to purchase basil....
    @Baking Serendipity - The veggies were fantastic... I could eat them on anything!
    @Umm.... Thanks for stopping by and especially for following!

    Enjoy you weekend everyone!

  6. Sounds wonderful - I love these flavors and ingredients - I could live on them! Lovely recipe
    Mary :)

  7. what an excellent tart! I love all those wonderful summer veggies, and I do think you have time to plant more basil, it grows quickly!

  8. This looks delicious! The combination of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil always tastes so very much like summer.

  9. Yum! I love the way you organized this post--it not only makes the whole process very clear, but makes it seem manageable (ratatouille has always seemed daunting to me).

  10. that looks great - i'll have to come back to this once we start getting tomatoes from our CSA. [soon, I hope! we've gotten 1 or 2 small ones the past two weeks, just enough to eat as is and want more...]


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