Simple Basil Vinaigrette

This week my girls and I have gotten our gardening on!  Not only did we tend to the Tremont Elementary School Community Garden; weeding, pruning, watering and of course, harvesting the produce, but we also made a day trip to Amish Country for the first time ever. What a fascinating trip — I never knew that Holmes County, Ohio had the largest concentration of Amish in the world!  photo-3Farms abound in Amish Country.  We toured Ron Hord’s Small Farm where he let the girls harvest some of his produce.  Ron gave us a fantastic personalized tour around Holmes County complete with a traditional home-style lunch at Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen and a visit to an Amish family’s house to check out their hand made baskets and learn about their traditional living. We made a few stops at some Amish food stores — incredible selection of cheeses, dried herbs, jams, jellies, fudge, and many other unique foods (all at extraordinarily low prices!).

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So needless to say, we have not been at a loss for fresh picked produce in our house this week; tomatoes of all types, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and onions have taken over my counter space.  Unfortunately we’ve had a busy week so I haven’t cooked very extensively with this produce in the past few days.  Luckily keeping fresh produce simple is often the best way to serve it.  This Simple Basil Vinaigrette dresses up any vegetables, raw or cooked — it’s super versatile, almost like a pesto but with the acidity of a salad dressing.  Drizzle it on a salad or over some tomatoes and goat cheese or fresh mozzarella, mix it into some whole grains or with some grilled shrimp, toss it with some pasta….endless options.  I’ve been keeping it on hand all summer because I have an abundance of basil and I have found so many great uses for it.  The recipe comes from What’s Gaby Cooking website and blog which is one that I follow religiously on Instagram — her style is fresh, vibrant, flavorful foods and she takes gorgeous photos. So before summer comes to an end put your basil to good use and enjoy this delicious vinaigrette.


Simple Basil Vinaigrette


1 shallot, roughly chopped

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp red pepper flakesIMG_3217

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Use immediately or
store in refrigerators for up to 4 days.

Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

Farro Tossed with Simple Basil Vinaigrette with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Prepare farro as directed.  Mix a few tablespoons of Simple Basil Vinaigrette with about 1 cup of farro.  Lay a top a bed of spinach or arugula.  Top with fresh tomatoes and some crumbled goat cheese.