Basil- it’s what’s for dinner!  Basil is by far my favorite herb to cook with. I love it for its fresh earthy licorice-ness. I find it has the most flavor when served raw or when added to a cooked dish at the very last minute. Heating it seems to destroy it’s flavor. And dried basil, just forget it. I usually pick up a fresh bunch of it at the grocery store, stick it in a pint glass with some water, and set it on the window sill over my kitchen sink…. then it’s at my fingertips to pluck off a couple leaves and throw them in whatever. I love adding basil to salads, sandwiches, omlettes, you name it. I had my family over for dinner a few nights ago and cooked a meal that included basil in all these courses… bruschetta and olive tapenade for appe, creamy pesto pasta for dinner, and the margherita pizza ended up being a late night snack. Dessert that night was my sister and brother-in-law’s 1 year old wedding cake but I did see a recipe by Giada De’Laurentis for Basil Cheesecake I’m dying to try…
3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 leaves fresh basil, shredded
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. olive oil
lots of S&P
Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Refridgerate for a few hours to let marinate. Mix in cheese just before serving.

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