If it’s okay with you, I’d like to toot my own horn for a second here.
I bought this basil plant on a (frugal) whim. The plant was $2.99 at Whole Foods when a package of already picked and packaged basil was more than that at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. At the time, I figured I would get at least the same amount of basil leaves, and possibly a few more, if I could finally keep a plant alive.
Well, I’m happy to report, that nearly 3 months in, the plant is still thriving! While this may not seem like much for many of you, especially those with overflowing gardens (do you teach lessons?), it is quite the feat for myself. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that this plant does best sitting on the windowsill where there is direct sunlight for just a few hours per day (compared to the “other” window I started with that allows for much more sun; the basil plant nearly dried-up!), and with a small amount of cool water every 3 days (I’m thinking I used to kill all my former plants with too much
Anyways, I’ve been enjoying the scent and flavor of fresh basil these past few months and love being able the throw a few fresh leaves into whatever we may be cooking. This orzo pasta salad was a recent hit in our household, especially as it was perfect to eat in the hot water, and the fresh basil only made it better.
Orzo, Feta and Chickpea Salad
Keywords: raw entree side vegetarian pasta cheese olives chickpeas July 4th summer
- 8 oz. orzo pasta
- 1 yellow summer squash
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
- 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tbs. halved black olives
- About 5 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1. Trim ends off summer squash and grateit. Place in colander and toss with 1 tsp. salt. Set aside for 10 minutes then press against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water.
2. Meanwhile, cook orzo noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water until room temperature.
3. Place orzo noodles and summer squash in large bowl. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve and enjoy!
In addition to fresh basil, one of my other favorite summer flavors is iced tea. I was sent Pure Green Tea, Blueberry Green Tea and this reusable bag courtesy of Teas’ Tea. I easily forget how refreshing ice tea can be on a hot summer’s day and this package could not have arrived at a better time!
I have really been enjoying the Blueberry Green Tea! It is just lightly sweetened, so there is still a strong traditional green tea taste, but without any bitterness.
Their teas come in several flavors in the following categories: Classic. Low Calorie, Plus (Half Green Tea and Half Lemonade…this sounds sooo good to me!) and Unsweetened. The sweetened varieties all use natural cane sugar and the unsweetened teas are a great source of natural antioxidants, provide at least 100% daily value of Vitamin C and contain zero calories. If you enjoy green tea, then you will like Teas’ Tea!
~Do you have a “green thumb?” Any gardening tips you’re willing to share?!