Do you have an herb garden?
Planting an herb garden is one thing I am certain to do every spring and summer. I usually devote one entire pot of herbs to just basil alone; because I’d be happy to eat caprese salads all season long. This year, the owner of the farm market I frequent convinced me to try Thai basil. So I planted some alongside my sweet basil and I decided to try it first in this tangy, spicy basil walnut vinaigrette.
Summer tomatoes are so good, they almost need nothing else. They are perfect sliced with a sprinkling of salt. And I love a good tomato sandwich; a slathering of mayo and that one perfect cross section of tomato that covers your entire slice of bread. And now, I layer them with sprouts and a drizzle of Thai basil vinaigrette. Sweet, tangy perfection.
My basil grew very well this year. Here I’m showing you the distinctive purple flower of Thai basil. The leaves are sturdier and less shiny than sweet Italian basil. And the flavor is spicy, with an almost licorice like flavor.
The combination of basil and walnuts in this vinaigrette makes the dressing almost ‘pesto-like’. It’s the perfect drizzle for salads, vegetables and even pasta.
If you don’t have Thai basil, of course sweet basil will fill in perfectly. I hope you will give this a try and come back and tell me how you used it!
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
- 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup of red wine vinegar
- 1 cup of coarsely chopped Thai basil leaves
- 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup of walnut pieces
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In the bowl of your food processor, combine the mustard, vinegar and basil.
- Process for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. And process for another 30 seconds.
- With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady drizzle. Shut off the machine and add the walnuts. Pulse the machine in short bursts until the walnuts are chopped finely and evenly, but still discernible in the dressing.
- Adjust seasoning, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.