Okay, so this post is just to share with you this amazing potato gratin I made last night. It's heaven. I really wanted to change things up on a traditional potato gratin recipe and thought about lavender blossoms but don't have any to harvest right now and thought, Aha! I have basil blossoms from the African Basil plants on my deck and they're beautiful and purple and delicious - surely they'll work...
and they did...mmmmm!
Basil blossoms have the most delicate suggestion of basil - not as strong as the leaves, but hints of the vibrant flavor and aroma. I've used basil blossoms in my summer salads, sprinkled with salt and pepper over fresh cut tomatoes, and when making chicken or vegetable stock. It's best to trim back the blossoms to encourage more leafy growth and extend the life of your basil plants. When trimming back the blossoms, think of using them in floral arrangements. I love adding basil to floral arrangements and when there are too many for that I simply add them to meals - it not only adds a touch of whimsy - it adds delicious delicate flavor. Never overpowering, basil blossoms can be added to so many dishes.
Try this one tonight!
Potato Gratin with Basil Blossoms:
- 4 to 5 medium sized organic potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 cup of your favorite cheese, grated (I used Fontina)
- 4 to 5 basil blossom stalks (strip the blossoms by running your fingers in the opposite direction of the blossom growth)
- 1 cup milk or heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a casserole dish, spread the butter on the bottom and sides of the dish.
Begin layering sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish - slightly overlapping each slice. With each layer - sprinkle with a little salt, a little pepper and a sprinkling of basil blossoms. Continue to layer and with every third layer sprinkle a portion of the shredded cheese. Once all layered, use the remaining cheese to cover the top of the casserole. Pour 1 cup of milk or heavy cream over the casserole.
Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes (or until sliced potatoes are soft and nicely brown on the top).
Let cool for about 10 minutes and dig in! Sprinkle fresh blossoms for an added special touch. Enjoy!
In honor of the blooming herbs here in the Hill Country garden I dedicate this post to the topical uses of Borage, Yarrow, Vitex, Calendula...
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I am a Texas native, an artist, a foodie, and an herbalist. I studied under Nicole Telkes Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin. I mostly focus on developing and producing body care products using plants I grow or purchase organically.
I’m a nutritionist to dear friends and family, I understand food sensitivities and intolerances and how foods can affect cognitive and physical health. I once suffered from GI illness and through studying alternative means of healing and applying discipline to my wellness plan have overcome chronic inflammation and pain. I was fortunate to heal myself outside of the typical medical model of prescriptions and think many of us can, too. I believe we have the power to heal our bodies. We are all introduced to a myriad of pollutants each day. We are eating, applying them, or inhaling them with little thought. I aim too reduce this minefield by producing toxin free products that are beneficial, nutritive, and easily absorbed through the skin. We all need a little help navigating through today’s exposures. My mission is to help reduce pollution in people, one product at a time. Thank you for joining me in my herbal adventures!
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we all grow up
Verbena (Vervain) Loving Spring
Cactus in Bloom
Spring in the Hill Country 2010
Flowers for Mum
reaching towards the sun
Briar and Basil in the Greenhouse
Pets love to garden too!
IVITA Botanicals on Etsy!
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