Dear basil from my neighbor’s garden,
You have changed my life. Before I met you, I thought fresh basil was for pasta and pesto and other forms of deliciousness that leave bellies warm and breath just a pinch garlicky.
But, you! Thrust into my hands by a green-thumbed magician and smelling like summer on the Amalfi Coast (I imagine as I’ve never been), you rocked my world…or at least my salad.
I looked at you perched there in your old Oui jar vase and just waiting to be invited into my lunch and I thought, why not?
So, I chopped you into my spinach. Then I added fresh mozzarella, cucumbers from the farmer’s market and tomatoes from another friend’s garden. I tossed you around, sealed you up and took you to work.
I could hardly wait for lunch and you did not disappoint. I popped off your lid and, suddenly, my whole desk smelled like Tuscany (which is also on my bucket list so I’m guessing here).
I’ve had the same salad for lunch every day since because it’s harvest time in Wisconsin and the eating is good!
But, I can’t believe I never thought to chop basil into my salad before.
Also, I’ll forgive the clerk at the cheese store who told me they definitely sold fresh mozzarella and then pointed me to what turned out to be cheese curds.
Those are fresh and tasty too.
But fresh mozzarella in you basil-infused salad with homegrown tomatoes?