Every summer I grow herbs on my patio. I plant them in separate pots and place them right outside of my kitchen door next to the other flower pots. They blend in nicely with all of the other plants and the fact that they are near the kitchen makes it easy to use fresh herbs when I’m cooking.
I look forward to having my own supply of basil, mint, rosemary and parsley all summer long. It’s a great way to add fresh flavor to my recipes.
I thought it would be fun to give you some ideas for using fresh herbs by sharing some simple recipes with you. The recipe I am giving you today uses fresh basil. Basil is my favorite herb. I love the smell, the color and the taste of it and if I could grow it inside like a house plant, I would. I think basil adds fantastic flavor to so many things; certain pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches all taste great with basil added to them.
This Roasted Peppers, Olives and Basil recipe is something that we started making after a visit to Angelo’s Italian restaurant in New York City. We ordered a similar dish there and fell in love with the flavor combination. And because we couldn’t just go to Angelo’s every time we wanted it, we decided to try to make it ourselves. It's almost as good as Angelo's!
You can serve this dish hot or cold. We love it hot on top of a good crusty Italian bread but it’s also great cold on top of sandwiches.
1 large (32oz) jar of roasted red peppers
1 cup of pitted Kalamata olives
8-10 large cloves garlic
¼ cup of capers
Approximately ½ cup of fresh basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Peel garlic cloves and set aside. Slice each pepper into 6-8 strips and set aside. Drizzle enough olive oil to almost coat but not cover the bottom of a large frying pan. Add garlic cloves and sauté on low heat until soft, being careful not to burn the garlic. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper. Add olives and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add peppers and sauté 5-10 more minutes or until peppers are soft and heated through. Add capers and stir into peppers and olives. Tear about half of the basil leaves into small pieces. Add torn basil to pan and stir into pepper mixture. Add more salt and pepper to taste and stir. Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof serving dish. Top with the remaining basil leaves. Serve warm with Italian bread.