I was out getting my garden ready, when I spied this little guy coming out of a crack in our patio. Isn’t he cute? I was surprised for a few reasons. First, he seeded himself; second, we just had a frost, and generally basil aren’t frost tolerant, and third, my husband often holds small martial arts classes on the patio, making him quite a target. Since DH had a class that night, I decided to pick him rather than tempt the fates.
I figured that considering what he’d been through, he deserved a starring role in Weekend Herb Blogger. I’ll be submitting him for next week’s edition, which is hosted by Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.
I used the basil as a garnish for a simple and easy Thai style curry. I used home made red curry paste, but I’m sure commercial would work just as well. I also used bok choy because I couldn’t resist it at the Farmer’s Market, but I’m sure serving it with steamed broccoli would work just as well.
There are many kinds of basil, this basil was originally a gift from a friend from Vietnam, from his mom’s garden. It tastes a bit like Thai holy basil, but there’s a different twist to it.
2 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red curry paste (a little more or less according to taste)
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised
1 can coconut milk
3 baby bok choy, sliced
4 carrots, sliced thinly
1 lb chicken breast in cubes (you could pretty much use any protein here: shrimp, tofu, etc.)
Heat oil, saute ginger and garlic over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add curry paste and continue. Add sliced bok choy, then coconut milk, and bring almost to a boil. Simmer for 5 min, add carrots, and simmer 5 minutes more. Add chicken breast and poach until done.
Sprinkle with basil, serve with brown rice.
~from Cheryl’s kitchen ©2008
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I love herby garden volunteers and you have made wonderful use of yours. I’m not sure if you’ve decided for sure on this as your WHB entry since you haven’t emailed me about it. Please drop a line if it is your entry! And, if so, welcome to Weekend Herb Blogging!!
This is the first time I’ve heard of Vietnamese basil. I love the color of it, and the curry sounds delicious.
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This looks different from the curry I used to cook. I’ll try this one for a change. Thanks for sharing thsi recipe!
I can’t even get my basil to grow in my pots that I tend with loving care. I wish something useful would grow in my patio cracks instead of the weeds that do!