What if I tell you I have three basil plants growing on my patio right now? Would you say I’m a little obsessed? Maybe so. I can’t get enough of it- pesto, pizza, on a sandwich or in a salad. It just smells like summer to me. Maybe you’ve got some basil in your garden that’s ready to be used… if so, here’s an idea. Quick and easy to make and oh-so-delicious to eat.
Start with a huge handful of fresh basil leaves:
you want it to look like this and will probably need to scape down the sides of the bowl a time or two:
Next, chunk up a block of cream cheese. I use regular cream cheese because I think the light version tastes weird. Toss in the cream cheese chunks and a few dashes of hot sauce and pulse until well combined (scrape down if needed):
Voila! Serve it with crackers (I like Triscuit Thin Crisps or Wheat Thins) or pita chips, or red and yellow pepper strips. Or spread it on a tomato sandwich! YUM! Also… this tastes even better if you cover it for a while and pop it in the fridge. Just pull it out about 20 minutes before you want to serve it to soften it up a little.
Don’t forget the garnish! As my very wise friend (and tasty chef) Jeannie says, ‘You eat first with your eyes!’ PS- before you pluck your basil leaves to make the dip, go ahead and pick out your garnish first. You’ll want a cute little cluster from the top of the stem.
This recipe came from my sweet mother in law, who got it from her friend Christie, and I have no idea where Christie got it.
1 big handful fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup packed)
1 8oz. block cream cheese
1-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped/pressed (however much you prefer)
Dash Tabasco/Hot Sauce
Place washed and dried basil leaves in a food processor with fresh garlic and pulse until well chopped, scraping down sides as needed. Cut cream cheese into about 8 chunks and toss into food processor with a few dashes of hot sauce. Pulse until well blended. Spread in serving bowl/dish and garnish with a little sprig of basil. Cover and refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving.
AND! I just made the Bah-Nah-Nah bread and subbed some whole wheat flour and I must say, it was delicious. Let’s be honest and call it what it is: A cupcake. But still, it’s a little healthier, right? Updated post here.