Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blueberries and Basil

Mmmmm... Why are berries so good? Every kind of berry I can think of right now is so good. Except the berries that made my lip swell up that one time. If you know the story you might be laughing right now. If you don't- it's pretty funny and very Carly.

Remember last year when I was so excited about my CSA? We did it again this year, and have been lucky enough to get a ton of delicious organic blueberries and basil each week. Sonny, loves blueberries too, so it works out perfect and we almost names him Basil They are just the right size for his tiny fingers to pick up and eat. Sometimes he likes to squish them by the fist full first, but mostly he will just eat them one by one.

With all the blueberries we have been getting, I've been thinking and experimenting with ways to use them before they go bad. Aside from the obvious of putting them in salads (i love this), I have two new favorite ways to include blueberries in my cooking.

1st- Sautéed with Veggies. I used fresh green beans from our farm share one day and zucchini from the farm share the next. Although they were both good, I think the zucchini was a little bit better, The moisture from the zucchinis helped to make the blueberries super soft and syrupy. It was almost like eating blueberry pie guts.
If you want to try it this is roughly what I did:

2- small zucchini (sliced)
salt and pepper (to your taste)
a lot of basil leaves (sliced or chopped)
2- tbsp of pine nuts
enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of your pan
handful of blueberries

Heat olive oil and throw in the zucchini (when the oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is introduced). Sautee the zucchinis for about 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure both sides of each have had a chance to get olive oiled and hot. Add the pine nuts, basil and salt and pepper. Sautee another 2-3 minutes (on lower flame), make sure you keep stirring, otherwise the nuts will burn. When the zucchini looks soft and tasty, add the blueberries. For the next minute or two, gently mix it all together (on low heat). Voila! All done. I added some golden quinoa and it made it perfect.

That is fresh corn with basil butter and sprinkled with black caraway seeds
 2nd - Grilled Mozzarella Cheese, Basil, Blueberry Sandwich

The title says it all. This was so good. We were eating grilled cheese and basil sandwiches with blueberries on the side and josh said : "I bet blueberries in the sandwich would be really good." The next day I followed that suggestion and it was NOT a disappointment. If I had a sandwich shop, I would 100% sell this sandwich. If you want to try it, this is what I did:

Mozzarella Cheese (sliced) I used this.
Fresh basil leaves
Organic multi-grain bread
Butter (I used this)

If you don't know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, I'm sorry.
Just in case- here you go:

Butter one side of each slice of bread you are using. Put the bread butter side down on the frying pan that has been on a medium/high flame. Let it warm up for about 30 seconds. Layer your cheese slices on the bread (according to your taste- do you like it super cheesy or thin? your call). Lower fire to medium. Don't touch it for about a minute and a half (depending on how much cheese you put on). Let the cheese get a little melty- not too melty, just glossy looking. Add basil leaves, and scatter a few blueberries on top. Wait about 30-45 seconds, add the other piece of bread on top (butter side up). Flip the sandwich over. Watch the cheese between the bread and when it gets nice and melted looking, you are done!

When you have your sandwich and you are going to cut it in half, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - make sure you cut it diagonally. Grilled Cheese MUST ALWAYS be cut on a diagonal.

Oh!  and look at this pretty bell pepper we got with our farm share.  I'd never seen a purple one!

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