Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recipe tip: Basil garlic sauce

As the true fall weather makes its way into town, it's time to start using up the herbs that have survived a couple seasons productively growing themselves in my herb garden. I'm happy to report this year's herb garden was a major success, and we are managing to use up much of our herb supply before it starts dying. Basil in particular has flourished, so lately we've been making a lot of this basil garlic sauce.

Here's one of our six still-thriving basil plants

This recipe involves some of our favorite ingredients: oranges, ginger, CRP (that's crushed red pepper, for those of you unacquainted with my hot-food-loving husband) sauce?! Yes, we actually really like fish sauce as an ingredient, though clearly not as a stand-alone item.

We also like this recipe because it makes use of a food processor. When you're done, it is a little more to clean up, but throwing all your ingredients in there really makes food prep easier.

This basil garlic sauce would be great with a variety of dishes, but we find it particularly good with two of our weeknight favorites: salmon and pasta with vegetables. On the salmon, this sauce is a nice topping; in the pasta dish, this sauce is a sort of pesto.

This recipe came from (believe it or not) one of Glamour magazine's "How to do anything better guides" in the back of an issue. Enjoy!

Basil garlic sauce
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
orange zest (one orange)
1/2-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup orange juice

1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the orange juice.
2. Run food processor to chop into a paste, pausing once or twice to scrape ingredients from the sides of the container. Add orange juice until you reach your desired consistency.

Be sure not to add too much orange juice. We got a little OJ happy tonight and had a runny sauce, which isn't pretty but still tastes good.

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