Jim and I grow herbs in pots on our deck - and its so wonderful to step outside the door and snip Basil, Dill, Parsley and Chives to spruce up a meal.

Not a big deal if you live on a farm or have a large yard to put in a vegetable patch but we are both born and bred city-dwellers and our clay pots and herbs are our garden.

Basil is my favorite - for its distinctive taste and for its pungent, delicious aroma.

Here are a few ways I use Basil leaves.
First I snip the leaves into narrow bands using kitchen scissors.

1. Toss a hand-full of fresh snipped Basil onto fresh cooked, drained spaghetti - toss with EVOO - you know, extra virgin olive oil - and grated Parmesan cheese.

2. Alternate thick slices of fresh tomatoes ( home-grown preferred) with slices of home-made mozzarella cheese - on a plate or platter. Salt and pepper. Pour on EVOO. Then sprinkle thin snips of fresh basil on top. Or, if you prefer - place whole basil leaves across the full length of the tomato-mozzarella line-up. Voila - Caprese Salad.

3. For a quick lunch I like to chop a fresh tomato into one-half a cup of cottage cheese - add sliced spring onions and sprinkle in thin strips of fresh basil. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Ummm Yummm.

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