It has been a really busy summer and it is only half way over! The second half is going to be just as busy so while I have a few minutes at home I wanted to try a few new recipes that use all the delicious summer produce that is available right now.  

I love traveling, but I do miss cooking in my kitchen so today I spent all day cooking!  Not that my kids are going to eat any of what I made-they are too busy with their friends to eat my food:( I never see my kids in the summer.  They are all over the place and hanging with mom and dad is just not cool.  Which is why I insist on family dinners during the school year so I can spend some time with them around the dinner table.
So…its just me and my husband the dog, of course, eating tonight.  The recipe below is not anything mind blowing or new, but it is so delicious and easy to make.  You can add cheese to this dish to give it some more body or serve it as is. If you are having a dinner party you can make this a couple hours ahead of time and just drizzle the oil on at the last minute.  Or if your party is more casual you could put all of the ingredients in a large serving bowl and drizzle the oil on top.  It will be fabulous!
A note on making the Basil Chili oil- you must blanch the basil before you blend it.  If you skip this step your oil will be grey and kinda gross looking.  Just bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the basil. Boil (or blanch) for 30 seconds.  Remove the basil and place into a small bowl filled with ice and water. Once the basil has cooled remove it to a paper towel and let dry completely.  Then continue with the recipe.  
Happy Summer!  


Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil Chili Oil

Makes 4 composed salads

4 cups watermelon cut into bite sized cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
Salt and Pepper

Basil Chili Oil:
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt

Arrange the watermelon cubes and tomato halves on the serving plate.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt and cracked pepper (do not use pre-ground pepper in a can-it will be too over powering).

Drizzle with basil chili oil and serve cold.  

Basil Chili Oil Recipe

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Blanch the basil leaves for 30 seconds.  Remove leaves and place in a bowl with water and ice.  Allow the basil to cool completely and then remove from water and dry on paper towels.  

In a blender or mini prep, blend the basil leaves, oil, salt and chili flakes until smooth.  You will still have small pieces of basil, but thats ok.  

Pour oil into a squirt bottle to make drizzling easier.  If you don't have one just use a spoon to drizzle.  

You must blanch the basil before you blend. If you skip this step the oil will be grey and very unappetizing. 

Needed Items