14 hours ago
Monday, September 24, 2012
I'm back from vacation only to find that our tomato plants are so heavy, they are leaning over, and my basil plants look like weeds.
Time to clean up the garden and get ready for fall.
Instead of throwing out all the raggy looking basil, I will make a big batch of pesto for the freezer and a batch of basil biscotti!
You heard right! Basil Biscotti.
I had been spying Linda's recipe and knew I wanted to try this interesting combo.
She posted 2 different versions. One savory, using Pecorino cheese, the other is sweet, more of a traditional biscotti.
I opted for the sweet. I experimented a little and deviated from Linda's friend's original recipe.
I changed it a bit, by adding lemon and lime zest and it was excellent with the basil!
I also turned down the baking temperature, because I usually bake biscotti at 325F, and was nervous at 375F, so I compromised and made it 350F, which is my safe baking time.
The recipe says you can use cranberries, but I added raisins instead.
This was a traditional almond raisin biscotti w/ some citrus zest and beautiful basil in the mix. The basil becomes very mild when baked, so don't be afraid, it's just a hint of flavor.
If you like a softer cookie type of consistency, then don't "twice bake" the biscotti, just wait for it to cool and slice.
Excellent way to use up your end of the summer basil.
Basil Lemon Biscotti (adapted from Ciao Chow Linda):
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 cup whole almonds, toasted ahead of time in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes
1 hefty cup fresh basil, chopped
zest of a lemon, and zest of a lime
1/2 cup of raisins or cranberries (optional)
Mix sugar and butter together until blended. Add eggs, one at a time.
Add the citrus zest and blend.
Add flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until all is blended. Scrape from the bottom to make sure everything is mixed in. The batter will be very sticky.
Add the basil and almonds (and dried fruit if using) either with a wooden spoon, or with your mixer. Don't mix for long if using a mixer since you don't want to break up the almonds.
(I mixed the nuts and basil in with wet hands).
On a large baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper, divide the dough into 2 logs.
Flatten them down with wet hands and form into nice shapes, they won't spread much.
Brush w/ a milk and egg wash and bake the logs in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes until golden.
Remove the logs to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
Slice with a serrated knife and lay slices back onto the baking sheet to toast.
Place the slices back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on racks.
These stay all week in a storage container, if they last that long!
Next time I am going to make a rosemary lemon biscotti. I love fresh herbs in baked goods.