Some of my favorite things are the simplest, like this basil butter. I love love love all things basil and practically eat pesto by the spoonful. I actually bought a basil plant two years ago for the sole purpose of always having fresh basil around. I have to say, I was so amazed at how well it grows! Seriously, it grows like a weed and if I forget to water it for too long, it always perks right back up. It is an insanely low maintenance plant! Don’t believe me? There are entire websites devoted to helping you grow basil, but you won’t need the help. All you need is a sunny window and an occasional watering!
The cream cheese I added to this basil butter makes it very smooth and spreadable while adding a subtle creamy flavor. You don’t notice the taste though. My husband hates (and I mean HATES) cream cheese and he was in love with this butter. It took everything in us to stop ourselves from eating it all. Could you imagine eating an entire stick of butter in one sitting? Ick. I’m telling you though, this butter will make you want to.
There’s no such thing as too much garlic in my kitchen, but if you’re nervous about using raw garlic, you can substitute a bit of garlic powder for fresh or saute the garlic in oil before adding it. You could also use a couple teaspoons of pesto instead of basil leaves if you want to cut out that step…or you could use pesto and fresh basil.
I love any kind of flavored butter or spread as an appetizer, especially in spring or summer because it requires no oven use! This was absolutely mouthwatering topped with a thin slice of feta and a fresh basil leaf. I plan on generously spreading what is left on a halved french loaf, sprinkling it with shredded parmesan and a little extra garlic, and baking it. I think it will make the most perfect cheesy basil garlic bread.
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 4 Tbsb cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch salt and pepper
- In a food processor or magic bullet, puree basil leaves and olive oil or finely dice the basil.
- Beat butter and cream cheese until incorporated. Mix in pureed basil leaves and remaining ingredients.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.
This stuffed bread was fantastic! I love the combined flavor of fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella! Definitely something I will make again because it was super easy to whip up. I used a loaf of homemade crusty bread, but you could obviously use any type of bread if you don’t like a hard crust. The one thing I would change would be to use freshly shredded cheese as opposed to pre-shredded, it just doesn’t melt quite as nicely. Otherwise, perfect!
- Round loaf of bread (I used a loaf of mozzarella-basil crusty bread)
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cut the loaf in half and hollow it out just a little bit.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, basil, green onions and mozzarella cheese.
- Spread the tomatoes over the bread in a layer.
- Cover it with the cheese mixture.
- Place the top of the loaf on top and cover with foil.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
When I first came across this Crusty Bread recipe, I knew I would eventually get around to making it. It’s been a little over 6 months and I did it! I put my own spin on it and added garlic, mozzarella, and basil. It was delicious with a nice hard crust that made it great for dipping in soup!
Crusty Bread (adapted from Simply So Good)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups water (next time I will cut this down, maybe start with 1 or 1 1/4 and then add more if I need to)
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, garlic powder, basil, and yeast together. Add the mozzarella and mix it up a bit.
- Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms – a wooden spoon works well for this.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours (mine sat about 14).
- Preheat oven to 450; when heated, place an empty crock pot well with aluminum foil over the top in the oven and heat it for 30 minutes. My crock pot is pretty big, and the loaf spread to take the shape of it – next time I will use something a little smaller so it’s not as flat. You can use a cast iron pot with lid, a dish with lid or foil covering the top, or anything that can handle the heat.
- While the crock pot well is heating, pour the dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape it into a ball. [If you wish to double the recipe, this is the point at which you should separate it and form two balls.]
- Cover the ball with plastic wrap you had covering the dough to set until the rest of the half hour is up.
- Remove the hot crock pot well from the oven and add the dough to it. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then, bake an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
- Carefully remove bread and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
It’s cold; I’m used to it though. I’ve lived in Wisconsin my whole life and come the end of November, we kind of just expect it to snow. Although, last year was a bit off and we almost missed out on a true white Christmas! In my book, cold weather is soup weather and this soup definitely kept me warm last night. Continue reading
I love hummus and have really been wanting to make it for some time now. I finally got around to it, and it turned out great! This recipe is very simple, but was a little tedious because I used a magic bullet instead of a food processer. Traditionally, hummus has tahini (sesame seed paste) in it as well, but I didn’t have any and opted out. Does anyone know what tahini adds? Flavor/texture?
Roasted Garlic Basil Hummus
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 head garlic, roasted
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1-2 Tbs lemon juice
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
To roast garlic: chop off the top of a head of garlic and place on aluminum foil (wrap the foil around the bottom of the garlic). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350-400 for about an hour. After roasting, let cool until you are able to touch it; you will be able to squeeze the cloves right out of the head.
- I started by adding 1 tbsp of olive oil and the basil leaves to a magic bullet and blending them, but it didn’t blend until smooth because I was only using a small amount.
- I added half of the garbanzo beans, the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and roasted garlic and continued to blend. Then the basil leaves actually blended up into the mixture quite well.
- When that was smooth, I added the remaining oil and garbanzo beans and continued to blend.
- You can add more oil (or the liquid from the garbanzo beans) if it gets too thick, and adjust seasoning to taste; I added a little more lemon juice (a couple teaspoons). Enjoy!
I can never really eat a whole lot first thing in the morning, so my breakfast often consists of a single piece of fruit. But on days that I have time to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax, I can actually work up some sort of appetite before I’m out the door, and my breakfast is a bit more elaborate.
Eggs are so easy to make and can be made so many different ways – I really can’t imagine not having a dozen in the fridge. This recipe is super easy and delicious. It is so simple and the fresh basil and garlic give it such wonderful flavor!
Bruschetta Scrambled Eggs
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 1/2 tomato diced
- 3 or 4 basil leaves, torn
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
Saute the garlic in the oil until it just begins to brown, then add the eggs. As they begin to cook, add in the tomato and basil. If you like your tomatoes cooked more thoroughly, you can add them earlier, but I like mine to be a little more fresh/raw tasting. When the eggs are done cooking, sprinkle the parmesan over the top.