Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tasty Tuesday!

I hate wasting things. My dad jokes that I'm a Depression Era baby, and in many ways I probably am. This would somewhat explain my love of cooking, right? It's cheap, and I get to use things up.

Sometimes when you buy things, they're stupidly expensive. Or you have to buy them in greater quantity than what you need. Raise your hand if you hate buying basil at the store.

C'mon. $1.99 or more for a tiny little bunch?

Remember how it turned brown before you finished it off last time?

Don't make me feel like I'm alone here. Raise up those hands!

Well, I'm done with that. For one thing, it's spring, and my garden is in the process of being planted -- which reminds me that I need to water my strawberry plants tomorrow -- which means fresh basil whenever I want it all summer long. Once it matures by the end of June.

Until then, I have a new favorite treat. As with so any excessively cool things, this comes to me via Trader Joe's.

Check it out. It's perfectly chopped and measured fresh basil that's frozen. And it's less than a dollar for twenty teaspoons. I don't get that much from the bunch I buy at the store, I can guarantee that.

Aren't those cute little ice cube tray looking things? It's possible I bought this to try just because it was so cute. And yes, I got te cilantro one, too. Gotta love the extra flavors.

You can't quite see that I have one cube missing, but I do. Which means that I can attest to the yummy actual basil flavor from this -a concern before trying.

Not So Pesto

2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t frozen basil
salt and pepper to taste

I made ravioli the other day but didn't feel like making sauce. I was going to do just a little brown butter -- totally easy -- except that some how, some freaky way, we were out of butter in my house. And that NEVER happens.

As I was searching through the freezer for butter, I found my forgotten little basil gems and decided to put some basil on my ravioli. Which then turned into warming oil to melt the basil. Which then turned into not so pesto -- which was totally yum.

Heat the olive oil, and add the minced garlic. Let it cook a minute or so, then add the basil cube. Stir with a spatula, and add just a tiny bit of salt and then some pepper to taste.

Were I not putting this on cheese ravioli, I probably would have also added some fresh Parm. Ok ok ok, so I forgot. It was super good without it. Even my husband was impressed, so shh don't tell him this was my lazy way out of making sauce.

This made the perfect amount for our two servings of ravioli -- just enough taste without overpowering the ravioli. And ummm yeah... it all disappeared (again) before I managed to take a picture.

And of course, as always go check out this week's Tempt My Tummy Tuesday with Blessed With Grace!


PS Yes, I know that today is Cinco de Mayo. And I so should have gone with something Mexican. Oops. Next week, I promise! Or go check out my Spanish Rice or Southwest Tortilla Stacker.


Karen May 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM  

You make me wish that I had a Trader Joe's nearby.

I bought basil plants at the greenhouse last week. I'm already enjoying basil in everything, even things that don't need it. Just because I can.

septembermom May 5, 2009 at 7:16 AM  

I've never made pesto! This may be just the recipe I need to "wow" my pasta dishes! Thanks as always for another great (and hopefully super easy) recipe :)

Leslie May 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

What a great idea with the Basil. I'll have to check it out at my Trader Joe's!

Happy Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Kristen May 5, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

Oh I wish I lived near a trader joe's - these look fabulous!

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace May 5, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

This Trader Joe's sounds great. Not the first time I have read references to his stuff! Thanks for the post.

SnoWhite May 5, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

Thanks! With nut allergies, I've been looking for another way to make pesto :)

Brenda May 5, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

I just went to Trader Joes so this will have to wait until the next visit, but it looks great!

Cookie May 5, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

That does sound good. I'm going to have to make a stop at Trader Joe's :)

WeaselMomma May 6, 2009 at 5:44 AM  

Those are cool and cute!

Emily @ Marvelous Recipes May 6, 2009 at 7:17 AM  

Thanks for a new way to make pesto!

Angela May 6, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

Um, yep. I'm waving BOTH hands. High in the air!

I have taken to freezing any leftover basil, which works pretty well as Trader's must have figured out. I just crumble it up in the ziploc bag (works perfectly when it's truly frozen through) - do the same thing with spinach. But yeah, for less than $1 I probably can't even grow it that cheap, LOL! I'll definitely check it out as there is a Trader's next to my office. And your ravioli sounds great!

Ryan Ashley Scott May 6, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

I love pesto - even the "not so" sounds delicious. :) And easy. I'll check that out at TJ's next time I'm there. What a find!

Hey, you mentioned cilantro - isn't that typically found in mexican food?

Michelle May 6, 2009 at 10:03 PM  

Karen - I'm jealous. I still need to fix my garden and go buy the plants (because I forgot to start them) so I can enjoy my basil in everything. yum!

septembermom - Never? It's so easy! And I mean regular pesto; this is even easier. go for it.

JAM - It totally rocks, especially for the middle of winter, which never seems to end in Chicago!

Kristen - They have to sell these elsewhere. Keep looking!

Lisa - Oh it is... if you don't have one nearby, I hope they make one soon.

Snow White - This is another way... or you can make it the normal way and just leave the pine nuts out :)

Brenda - It will wait for you, but hurry up and go back!

Cookie - You definitely do. And it's veggie for you, too.

Weaselmomma - Aren't they though? That's the only reason I bought them. The utility was secondary.

Emily - Anytime!

Angela - Ooooo, spinach. I should so do that one. Thanks for the tip.

RAS - Yep, cilantro is typically in Mexican food. I cook a lot of Mexican, too. And Indian. And otehrs. I experiment.

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