Basil & Espresso/Coffee in the Morning
I ♥ basil. Several times a year I purchase a basil plant, usually at Trader Joe’s, and I am able to harvest basil leaves for several days/weeks, keeping it fresh on the kitchen counter, watering it occasionally and making sure it gets plenty of light. The cost of this plant is under $5.00. It is well worth the investment!
Ways to use fresh basil
There are so many different ways to use basil. Below is a picture of a fabulous Caprese salad I ordered and enjoyed in the DR; the pesto dressing was so full of flavor and added an incredible taste to the fresh tomato and mozzarella slices. Pesto dressing is relatively simple to prepare; ingredients include fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic. But, oh my! Those ingredients do made a great dressing!
In the condo, I’ve been tearing and sprinkling the fresh basil on top of the Margherita pizza we have had delivered; also on the scrambled eggs I often fix for our breakfast. I sprinkle the dry basil into the oils I warm on the stove top to enhance the flavor of whatever I’m cooking, especially the potatoes I cook for breakfast. Not only does it give an additional depth of flavor to the potatoes, but the aroma in the air is wonderful. (Second only to the wonderful smell of my coffee brewing each morning! That amazing smell is one more reason coffee is mandatory!)
If you are ever in the Dominica Republic and get a chance to rent a condo or a villa at Perla Marina, be sure and check out the Ceiba Cafe & Pizzeria, located right inside the entrance gate. We have ordered pizza three times while staying here. We tried to order one other time but when we called to place our order the owner explained his employees had not been able to come to work due to the rain/flooding that day. 🙁 Ah, livin’ the adventure in the DR! They were back in business the next day! Besides a large variety of pizza, Ceiba Cafe &Pizzeria also prepares wonderful pasta dishes and specials. You can ffind them on Facebook, too.
Dry or Fresh Basil — And the cost in the DR
While out in the Dominican Republic for the month of March,I have been able to purchase both fresh and dry basil. The dry basil comes in small packets and is so inexpensive. The cost is 10 pesos, or approximately $0.20 in US dollars! As you can see by the picture, it is labeled “albahaca” which is the Spanish word for basil. But my favorite way to purchase basil is fresh. The fresh basil comes in a bag, and the cost of it is around 30 pesos, 60 cents, US. I bought this bag “reduced produce day” at the local “Playero” grocery store I shop at, so I got it for a little under 20 pesos, which is about 40 cents, US. Basil is by far the most used herb in my household.
If you haven’t tried fresh basil, why not give it a try? Altho the cost of it in the US is higher than here in the Caribbean area, it is well worth it (at least I believe so). You can buy it already cut and in bags at most grocery stores for around $2-$3 or you can purchase a plant for $4-$5 in some grocery stores. And, keeping a container of the dried basil on hand is always an easy way to add flavor to anything you are cooking.
If not basil, what is your favorite cooking herb?
PS I am not “affiliated” with Ciebea Cafe and Pizzeria in any way–I am just a very happy customer and wanted to share the fact that this restaurant was newly opened since we lived out here one year ago. The fabulous food is available at their restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, plus they make deliveries at no extra charge in the Perla Marina area.
While living in the Dominican Republic and now when we vacation here, we have dealt with the same company to find a place to stay. Jim and Tammy Leigh have rentals available for short term vacations or long term vacations/stays and you can find information at their website here. http://drrentalsonline.com/home.html (As with the restaurant, I am not an affiliate. I am one of their happy customers! And happy to share their information with you.) If you do contact them, tell them Gramma Sherry says hello! 🙂