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Basil Recipes for July (4 total)

Squash Blossom or Summer Squash Fritters with Basil Aoli                                                  Adapted from Eugenia Bone

Squash Fritters

1 1/2 cup flour
1 can of beer (12 oz)
1 full teaspoon of baking powder
a few pinches of salt
12 squash blossoms or 12 medium sized strips of zuccini or any summer squash
Plenty of oil for frying

Wisk batter in a large bowl and set aside. If you are going to bread and fry squash blossoms (keep them dry and shake them out to get rid of bugs and dirt), use about 12 large male blossoms by pulling them away from your squash plants. If you are going to use the CSA summer squash choose a large one and purchase one extra. Or raid a zuccini from a friend's garden!
Slice the squash into long strips about 1/4 inch thick, making sure to cut length-wise

Add vegetable oil (not olive, and use plenty) into a frying pan and heat the oil until it's hot and crackles when you test it (use water or flour to test oil).

Dip the squash blossom or squash strip into the bowl of batter and cover completely.
Lay the battered pieces into a frying pan, keeping each piece seperate or they will stick together.
Fry for about 1.5 minutes on each side until a golden brown crust forms
After the peices are fried, lay them on a paper towel to drain the greese.
Fry all blossoms or strips and let cool.

Basil Aoli

1 egg yolk
3/4 cup olive oil
juice from one fresh lemon
1 - 2 fresh CSA garlic clove depending on size
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of minced fresh CSA basil

Add the egg yolk to a mixing bowl and whisk. Very slowly pour the oil with a small stream gently into the bowl, whisking the oil and egg together until the oil starts thickening in the bowl. Add crushed garlic, lemon, salt and pepper, and fresh basil. Whisk until the mixture gets thicker. Salt to taste and and serve in a small bowl with your fritters. 
(If you need to set the aoli in the fridge to thicken up more it should be fine for at least 24 hours).

Dip the hot fritters right into the aoli and enjoy. This is perfect for an appetizer and so rich you only need two or three fritters Per person.

Steamed Beet and Basil Salad - with shaved turnip and red onion (this dish only serves two unless you add this mixture over salad greens or arugula)

  1. Steam your 3-4 CSA beets until tender, let them cool (some people slip the skins off at this point) and chop them into bite-size chunks.
  2. If you still have your harukai turnip, shave it thin with a knife or 1/2 kohlrabi (or skip this step if you don't have these)
  3. mince 1/4 cup red onion
  4. mince 1 small bunch of basil leaves
  5. squeeze 2 whole limes into the beet mixture
  6. use plenty of salt to taste
  7. Non-local, but amazing extra ingredient - fresh sweet corn cut off the cob! (I steamed the corn lightly and set aside until cool)
  8. One splash of apple cider vinegar and toss everything together
  9. Put the salad in the fridge if you can for a few hours so the flavors have time to set.
This dish is great as a refreshing and quick meal when you're feeling hot. It also went great as a light partner alongside the rich fritters and aoli sauce. If you want more volume out of it, you can lay it on top of your salad mix or a bed of arugula. With no oil this dish is extremely healthy as well!

Basil Gin Fizz Cocktail

3-4 basil leaves torn up
juice from 1/2 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon honey or simple sugar
1.5 oz Gin
3 - 5 oz club soda

Muddle all the dry ingredients at the bottom of a pint glass with simple sugar or honey, pour the gin into the herb blend and stir well to mix everything together. Add the ice and soda water at the end - give it a good stir once again. Garnish with an additional basil or peppermint leaf.

Really, there is a long list of recipes and uses for basil that I'd like to include here, as basil really is one of the best crops we grow at the Chatfield CSA. But instead of a mile-long newsletter, I will include this link to a great weekly installment at the Huffington Post - covering what to do with your CSA basket during the week. Have fun with my favorite green goddess of a plant - basil!

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