This Holiday Season Tap Into The Beauty Of Basil

Posted on December 10, 2012 | by

Learn to season your food with this king of herbs and you will be eating some serious medicinal plant chemicals courtesy of Mother Nature. Packed with taste and nutrition, this is one herb that should play a major role in your diet. Here is a sampling of what you get when you bite into basil:

Basil

Festive Basil Pesto

  • Notable plants derived chemical compounds (polyphenolic flavonoids) with disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • essential oils known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • exceptionally high levels of antioxidants including:  beta-carotenevitamin Acryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin.
  • A good amount of vitamin K, iron, potassium and magnesium

Basil, can you even imagine Italian without it?

Festive Basil Pesto and Tomato Whole Wheat Crostini

A beautiful green and red appetizer for a party or pre-meal starter.

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8-ounce whole-wheat baguette cut into sixteen 1/2 – inch slices
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

For pesto:

In a blender or food processor combine basil, garlic, Parmesan, walnuts, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil to make a thick paste.

For crostini:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp and lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto on each slice of bread. Top with grape tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 (Makes 16 crostini each with 1 slice bread, 1 teaspoon pesto, 1 grape tomato, halved)

NUTRITION

Per 2 piece serving:

  • Calories: 256
  • Fat: 19 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, 1 g ALA)
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg
  • Sodium: 238 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: < 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Recipe: an excerpt from the book Prevent a Second Heart Attack


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