Fresh, Flavorful Summertime Recipes!

The summer’s bounty is abundant! A tremendous amount of produce is coming from all the local farmers. It makes it easy to eat 100% local this time of year which is one of the reasons why I love the summer!

80 Acres Farms—Cincinnati, OH

This week we are getting a beautiful 2-ounce package of basil from 80 Acres Farm out of Cincinnati, Ohio. They are a hydroponic farm that grows sustainable produce year-round. Their growing practices help the environment by using 97% less water and are completely pesticide free! They also utilize vertical farming which means they can grow more food in a smaller space.

Nothing screams summertime like fresh, local basil! And, a 2-ounce package gives you plenty of basil to make a variety of dishes that incorporates this delicious herb. One of my favorite things to make with an abundance of basil is basil oil. All you need is a blender or food processor, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. Stuff the basil into your food processor, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and puree. Slowly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil while it is pureeing until you reach a consistency that you like. You can store in a glass jar in the fridge or freeze it in ice cube trays. Just spoon it out and add to your favorite dishes to provide a burst of basil flavor!

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Summer Recipes Using Basil and Local Produce

Here are four of my favorite recipes that utilize basil oil and a variety of local produce:

Corn, Tomato, and Green Bean Salad with Basil Oil: This recipe uses Waterman’s Farm Market non-GMO Indiana sweet corn with PS Produce organic Indiana green beans, and organic tomatoes from either Family Farm Fresh in Indiana or Rootbound Farm in Kentucky. A variety of textures in a light, summer salad that is a perfect side dish for a cookout.

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Grilled Tomatoes with Basil Puree: My family loves Midwest tomatoes and we love grilling and that is why we love this recipe! A bit of char from the grill and the burst of flavor from the basil oil makes this recipe absolutely delicious!

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And don’t forget a summer classic—Caprese Salad. This version uses goat cheese from Capriole Farm instead of fresh mozzarella. I have also substituted the basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil drizzle with basil oil which I personally like better. It provides a bolder basil flavor.

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Another summertime favorite recipe is my Kale and Strawberry Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing. The local kale has been stunning and so have the organic strawberries. Grab a bunch of kale from Rootbound Farm, a container of organic strawberries, and your basil from 80 Acres Farm and you can whip up this summer salad in minutes.

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Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth