Isn't she a beauty? I picked up this bunch of red basil at our neighborhood farmer’s market over the weekend and after one deep inhalation I was reminded of a bunch of other things, too—the house in Riverhead, Long Island, perched on a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Sound...the house full of hungry guests one summer, where I first fed my desire to cook. Fresh basil served us for a season of fresh tomato sauces, gazpacho and ribbons of the stuff on cornmeal-dusted, crusty pizzas, all full of the vibrant flavor and aroma released from the leaves.
Why not simply chiffonade a bunch of basil to boost any summer salad as well? Pluck the basil leaves from the stems and then roll a few of them up tightly like a cigar. Slice thinly on the bias for a familiar taste and yet a surprising, enhancing flavor when added to your greens!