Kid-friendly Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe: Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette

Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette

by Erin Fletter
Photo by pilipphoto/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • tear :

    to pull or rip apart a food, like basil leaves, into pieces.

  • toss :

    to lightly lift and drop food items together or coat food items with flour, or a sauce or dressing, as in a salad.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar/honey/agave

Instructions

Bellissima Basil Vinaigrette

1.
tear + whisk + toss

Tear 1 handful of basil leaves into small bits and whisk them together with 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Add this to a mixing bowl to toss with the salad ingredients.

Surprise Ingredient: Basil!

back to recipe
Photo by Chizhevskaya Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Basil!

"Ciao (chow)! I'm Basil! But you can also call me Genovese basil (that's Italian, from Genoa). My leaves are usually used fresh, added late in cooking to keep my flavor. If you combine me with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, you'll have a yummy, green Italian sauce called "pesto," which is good on pasta. You'll also find me on a delicious but simple pizza from Naples, Italy, called "pizza margherita." Besides fresh basil leaves, Neapolitans (people from Naples) traditionally top this pizza with a tomato sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Of course, basil is good in dishes from many countries!" 

History

  • A long time ago, Greeks and Romans believed basil would only grow if you screamed wild curses and shouted while sowing the seeds. They also thought that If you left a basil leaf under a pot, it would turn into a scorpion!
  • Basil may have originated in India; there are speculations that it originally came from tropical areas spanning from Southeast Asia to Central Africa. 
  • Ancient Egyptians used to use basil to embalm the dead and prepare for burial.
  • In Italy, basil is considered a token of love, and in Romania, if a girl gives a sprig of basil to her boyfriend, they are engaged. 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Basil is a part of the mint family. There are 50 to 150 species, including Genovese (Italian) basil (the most common), Thai basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil, lettuce basil, spicy globe basil, and green ruffles basil! Each type of basil has a unique aroma and taste. 
  • Leaves of the basil plant tend to be oval-shaped, shiny, and smooth-edged. Their edges cup slightly. 
  • Basil plants can grow to be from 8 inches to 4 feet high. 
  • Basil has seeds that can germinate after 10 years!
  • Basil will grow small flowers that look like spikes at the top of the plant. The flowers are edible, but we generally eat and use just the leaves.
  • The word "basil" comes from the Greek "vasilikos," which also means "royal." It is believed that basil was once used in royal perfumes. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Basil grows best in hot climates. When harvesting basil, pinch or cut the leaves at the stem from the top of the plant down. Select a few large leaves rather than snipping the whole stem. Choose leaves that are bright and free from blemishes. Picking leaves encourages the plant to produce more leaves. 
  • You could also try growing basil in a pot on your kitchen window sill, so it's easy to pick what you need when you need it.
  • Wash basil gently and pat dry. When you buy basil from the store, it will often come with its stems. Trim the ends of the stems and store in a glass of water as you would a bunch of flowers. Basil stores best at room temperature.
  • Use fresh basil leaves in salads, salad dressings, sauces, pasta, marinades, and sandwiches. Basil leaves in cold water make a nice summer refresher, or add some mint with the leaves to make a digestive hot tea. Basil can be dried or blanched and frozen. Dried basil enhances the flavor of tomato soup.

Nutrition

  • Basil contains 98% of our DV of Vitamin K1 in just one-half of a cup! Vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting. For example, when we get a cut, we need our blood to clot so that the bleeding will stop and our cut will heal. 
  • Basil contains carotenoids—those powerful plant-based nutrients that protect our cells from oxidation (rust) and enhance immunity. 
  • Essential oils found in basil not only give it its aromatic and therapeutic scent but are also anti-inflammatory. 
  • Basil has been shown to act as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that help us respond in a healthful way to stress. So the next time you're feeling stressed, grab a handful of basil, hold it to your nose, and breathe in deeply. Then, toss it in your salad and eat it.

 

What is Vinaigrette?

Photo by Kampus Production
  • A vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing or marinade typically made with three parts oil, one part vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. The word is the diminutive of the French word for vinegar, "vinaigre." However, you can substitute lemon juice in place of the vinegar for the acid in the dressing.
  • The oil and vinegar are usually mixed into an emulsion, so they do not separate. Including mustard into the mixture can help with that, and Dijon mustard is often added. 
  • Try making a vinaigrette with different kinds of vinegar and oils. Vinegar varieties include red, white, or sherry wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and rice vinegar, and you can use olive oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, or sesame oil.

Lettuce Joke Around

"Knock, knock!

"Who’s there? 

"Noah!

"Noah who? 

"Noah herb named Basil?

That's Berry Funny

What is a seagull's favorite herb? 

BAY-sil!

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