In Season

  • Creamy Tomato Basil Spread

    3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, drained
    1 8-ounce package cream or Neufchâtel cheese
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 cup basil leaves
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

    In a blender or food processor, combine sun-dried tomatoes, cream or Neufchâtel cheese, garlic powder, and basil leaves. Process until smooth and then blend in crumbled feta. Enjoy as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, or topping on French bread toasts with diced tomatoes

  • Lemon Sunflower Pesto

    2 cups basil leaves, packed
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

    In a food processor, combine ingredients. Process until texture is even. Add to pasta, or spread on chicken or fish before baking.

  • Whole-Grain Basil Bread

    1 packet of yeast (1 1/4 ounces)
    1 cup warm water
    1 cup basil, packed
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    3 cups whole-wheat flour
    1 cup whole oats
     

    1. In a small bowl, dissolve a packet of yeast in warm water, and let stand.

    2. In a food processor, pulse basil with olive oil, honey, and garlic powder.

    3. Combine yeast and basil mixture with whole-wheat flour and whole oats. Knead into dough, and let rise, about an hour. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

    Quick Tip: For a savory pizza crust, eliminate the oats and reduce both honey and oil to 1 teaspoon.

  • Orange-Basil Sorbet

    2 cups marmalade
    2 cups fresh orange juice
    3 cups water
    1/4 sweet basil, finely chopped

    1. In a large saucepan, combine marmalade,  orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until smooth and syrupy.

    2. When cool, stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet basil. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker, according to manufacturer directions. Freeze.

  • In Season: Basil

    More than just the sum of its pestos, basil also boasts an array of nutritional benefits. A mere 2 teaspoons of the dried herb provide 60 percent of your RDA for vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting and helps the body absorb calcium—crucial in building bone density.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • In Season: Watermelon

    Nothing completes a picnic like a big chunk of watermelon. And while taste alone makes this fruit a standout, it’s a nutritional gem, too: One cup of watermelon delivers more than 21 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and 18 percent of vitamin A—in fewer than 49 calories.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Grilled Sea Bass With Watermelon Salsa

    2 cups watermlon, diced
    2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
    1 cup cucumber, peeled, chopped, seeded
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    2 tablespoons minced cilantro
    2 sea bass filets
    2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    Pepper for seasoning

    1. In a small bowl, combine watermelon, red onion, cucumber, lime juice, and minced cilantro.

    2. Serve over two grilled sea bass fillets, rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and a dash of pepper.

  • Chilled Watermelon Soup

    3 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
    1 cup strawberries
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1/2 cup plain yogurt

    Blend until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

  • Watermelon Rind Pickles

    1 ound cubed watermelon rind
    1 cup white vinegar
    1 cup sugar
    4 cups water
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 teaspoon ginger, grated
     

    1. Combine approximately watermelon rind, trimmed of dark green and pink, with white vinegar, sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and grated ginger in a large stock pot.

    2. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until rind is near translucent, about an hour. Pack pickle and syrup mixture in sterilized glass jars, and chill 24 hours. Keep refrigerated.

  • Spinach and Watermelon Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    2 teaspoons honey
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1 teaspoon poopy seeds
    4 cups spinach leaves
    1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
    2 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
    3/4 crumbed feta cheese

    1. For dressing, combine olive oil, lime juice, honey, rice vinegar, and poppy seeds.

    2. In a bowl, toss washed spinach leaves and red onion with dressing. Top with watermelon, and feta.