[So my timing is a little off: I meant to post this recipe last month as tomato season was coming to an end. Anyway, here it is…]
Tomatoes and basil: is there a more perfect pairing in nature?
And this coupling is not just ideal in terms of taste / cooking, but tomatoes and basil are in fact “companion plants” – sharing nutrients in the soil and even assisting as a natural sort of pest repellant.
For next year’s garden, not only will I be planting this magical duo together, but I will also do an entire planter box of potatoes so that this family favourite meal can be “even more fresh” (as my kids would say).
1 batch of homemade gnocchi (about 2.5 cups), cooked
1 pint fresh tomatoes (cherry or grape, halved – or a larger variety, diced)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup soft chevre or goat feta (gouda or other hard cheeses work too, just chop into small cubes)
- 1 cup roasted or steamed asparagus, broccoli or Brussel sprouts (cut in 1” pieces)
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Prep a casserole dish with olive oil, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper (and garlic, if desired). IF time allows, let the ingredients sit for a few hours so the oil soaks up all the flavours and aromas. If you don’t have time, no worries – it will still taste fresh and amazing!
Boil a large pot of water and add fresh or frozen gnocchi (I like to add about 10 at a time). If using store-bought gnocchi, you can just dump them all in at once. Boil gnocchi until floating (about 7 minutes).
Strain and add to the casserole dish. Add cooked veggies and/or cheese, as desired.
[For the recipe pictured above, I used 3 types of basil – Thai, sweet, and holy basil. There is no need to use multiple types of basil; the kids were just eager to experiment. I also added raw minced garlic and roasted broccoli for today’s version. For the broccoli, I simply tossed it in a bit of Bragg’s liquid aminos/tamari and baked it on a cookie sheet for about 15 or 20 minutes at 400 degrees.]