By: Debbie Maranville, Co -owner of Goods from the Garden and The Natural Healing Garden.
It’s no surprise that basil is a summertime staple in our catering recipes—with a warm and spicy flavor, basil is an ideal pairing for sweet or mild recipes.
Basil is a common herb in most of our kitchens, but did you know that, besides tasting good in our chicken and pasta dishes, it can be of use toward having more healthy bodies? It is an excellent alternative health treatment for many minor ailments.
Grown originally in Asia and the Middle East, basil traveled the world along the spice trail. It has been grown and used for 5000 years and has hundreds of varieties and is now cultivated in many countries. All basil varieties have unique and individual chemical make-ups; and yet the base medicinal properties remain consistent from one strain to another.
Italians celebrated the herb alongside fresh mozzarella and tomatoes to create a refreshing Caprese salads or summery pizza toppings. Basil is also the basis for your homemade pesto. Add to a food processor with walnuts or pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil to create a zesty spread, and set it out alongside some fresh bread when entertaining guests.
As for sweet things, basil, pineapple and strawberries are an amazing trio. Combine the three ingredients to make flavored water – perfect for hiking, biking and Yoga. If you’re really feeling adventurous, basil and strawberry ice cream is a wonderful summertime dessert, to share with family, friends and neighbors during the summer barbeques.
Today I would like to share a Watermelon Gazpacho recipe that you and your guests will absolutely love. We often recommend this to our guests for catering events during the summertime. It is a simple dish and will take you less than an hour to prepare.
Cheers to good health!
Servings 6 servings
- 1 red bell pepper seeds removed
- 6-8 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 large cucumber – peeled
- 5 lbs. watermelon seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves + several leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (You can use white wine vinegar)
- 3 tablespoon tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse all your produce. Roughly chop all the produce and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add lime juice, white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves.
Serve in stemless wine glasses or pretty bowls. Garnish with your extra basil leaves.
May we suggest serving with seasoned or grilled Ciabatta Bread.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve chilled.