A Bunch of Backyard Basil

For the DOG LOVER, we still have the scratch and sniff custom dog silhouette print giveaway going on~!!  Make sure to head on over to this post and enter if you haven’t already!


One of my favorite things about home ownership is the fact that we have a yard, and in that yard we can grow whatever we want!  A tiny basil plant picked up at a Farmer’s Market a few months ago has turned into this!!

We decided to hang the basil to dry so that it would be one less spice container that we need to purchase!  I just love this photo which I’ll be linking up to…

Sweet Shot Day

And to go along with it, I came up with two fabulous recipes where the basil really adds a nice kick of flavor!  We’re still happily eating the leftovers! 🙂

Caprese Salad


    2 large tomatoes
    1 package mozzarella cheese
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon basil
    Pinch of salt and pepper


    1. Slice tomato and mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
    2. Layer tomato and mozzarella on serving plate.
    3. Mix together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour mixture over tomato and mozzarella.
    4. Sprinkle basil on top.
    5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom Flatbread with Cheese and Herbs


    3 mini pizza crusts (pre-packaged)
    8 oz. assorted shitake mushrooms, cleaned and cut
    1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    1/2 medium onion, sliced
    2 tablespoons basil pesto sauce
    4 oz. romano cheese
    3 oz. goat cheese
    1 tablespoon thyme
    caprese salad from above, cut (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic, and onions.  Stir in mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
    3. Spread basil pesto sauce on pizza crusts and sprinkle on romano cheese.
    4. Add mushroom mixture to pizza crusts as well as goat cheese.
    5. Sprinkle thyme on top.
    6. I felt like adding the chopped caprese salad mixture on top (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar). It added more dimension and taste to the flatbreads.
    7. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

What is your favorite recipe that contains basil?  I still have a lot left so I can sure use some more ideas!


  1. September 28, 2010 / 12:21 am

    very jealous! I had a basil plant this summer but couldn’t seem to keep it alive from the window of my apartment.

  2. September 28, 2010 / 12:35 am

    Sandy, these photos are making me hungry! I’m totally going to try out the flatbread recipe, for sure! I didn’t have a chance to plant a garden this year, but I already have plans for early spring! I’m a nut for tomatoes…so it’s going to be so much fun just walking out my door and plucking them off the vine any time I want…yum! 🙂

  3. September 28, 2010 / 12:41 am

    Both these recipes look delicious! Great to use when you’re trying to impress the guests – AND they look easy to make! Thanks for sharing these with us 😀

  4. September 28, 2010 / 1:29 am

    You hit the nail on the head with the CAPRESE salad, that is my fave recipe with basil….aahh funny thing is i havent had it in a long time! Need to get this wknd! :))))))))))

  5. September 28, 2010 / 1:54 am

    What a lovely picture!! You can also use basil to make dried tomatoes (I don’t know how to say it in English. In French it’s tomates séchées).

  6. September 28, 2010 / 5:38 am

    Basil is a favourite in our house. Beautiful shot! Your shots of food are gorgeous too and make me sooo hungry!

    Erika B

  7. September 28, 2010 / 5:44 am

    Mmmmm, basil. We are just getting into the basil planting season here. And caprese salad, yum, but that flatbread looks pretty nice, too

  8. September 28, 2010 / 7:25 am

    AH! The flatbread looks SO good–almost too good to eat! I love the idea of growing your own herbs. Zack and I always imagine our future together and a herb garden is definitely in it! 😀

  9. September 28, 2010 / 7:52 am

    I need to get back to making pizza. Sadly, I don’t have any place I can grow basil but I can easily pick it up from the farmer’s market. There’s honestly nothing like fresh basil — please do let me know how it goes drying it. I’d be curious to learn how it tastes when compared to store-bought dried basil.

  10. September 28, 2010 / 8:40 am

    Great shot but oh YUM!

  11. September 28, 2010 / 8:54 am

    Sandy, your photos make me hungry again eventho i just had dinner like an hour ago! I LOVE basil and these look sooo yummieee! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe with us!! Have alovely merry happy week and love to you!

  12. September 28, 2010 / 9:03 am

    uh…yum!!! did you make these. They look absolutely deeelish!!

  13. September 28, 2010 / 9:11 am

    Hanging the basil was such a great idea! Useful and beautiful. We are obsessed with tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella pizza. So delicious, especially on the grill!

  14. 来来Lai
    September 28, 2010 / 9:13 am

    These dishes look so yummy and healthy! We had the Caprese Salad in our wedding! I love fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil! Will have to make that sometime! Thanks for sharing Sandy!

  15. September 28, 2010 / 9:15 am

    I need you in my life! I don’t think I can take another day of pasta (my quick meal fix!). Everything is so yummy! Loving your food photography! I want to get better at it myself. As for my favorite basil recipes….Tomato Basil Soup!

  16. September 28, 2010 / 9:45 am

    Dear sandy, me again! hehe I forgot to post my answers to your questions regarding the camera and photo program. Im using a Nikon D90 and i uses photoshop or picnik programs to edit some of my photos. But i personally feel that picnik is so much easier to use compare to photoshop. Love to you!

  17. September 28, 2010 / 10:26 am

    yums! thanks for sharing!

  18. September 28, 2010 / 10:38 am

    Mmmmmmmm. I could eat caprese salad all day long!

  19. September 28, 2010 / 11:02 am

    That is such a yummy post…I use basil so much…I love with with salads:)
    hugs and kisses,sweetie

  20. September 28, 2010 / 11:14 am

    Everything looks delciious! I LOVE LOVE LOVE basil. Do you hang your basil in your kitchen?

    There is a Greek Orthodox monastery near us and they sell dried basil that they grow and it is wonderful…not too strong but still quite flavorful and wonderfully aromatic.

  21. September 28, 2010 / 11:44 am

    mmm, basil. i’ve been thinking of cool meals to eat during this heat wave and the caprese salad is perfect. thanks for the recipe!

  22. September 28, 2010 / 12:24 pm

    please come to nashville. today. and cook those for me!

  23. September 28, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    Everything looks so delish!

  24. September 28, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    What a fabulous idea! I love basil and cook with it all the time. Being that I live in an apartment and don’t have a garden, I always buy it fresh. Pretty much on a weekly basis. I love the idea of hanging it dry so I can continue to use it without heading on over to the spice container.

    And love the recipes! Caprese is my favorite and the flatbread sound delicious as well. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  25. September 28, 2010 / 12:53 pm

    i am totally inspired by your mini pizzas. delicious!

  26. September 28, 2010 / 1:19 pm

    i LOVE basil too – obsessed a lil – i put it with everything! – oh so yummy!!!

    PS – come on by – my first GIVE-AWAY is going on – $45 worth of goodiness!!

    *kiss kiss*
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  27. September 28, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    sandy! both dishes look absolutely D-licious! 😀

  28. September 28, 2010 / 3:56 pm

    YUM! that salad looks delish! Sandy, you’re killing me with your recipes + pictures, they’re SO drool-worthy!

  29. September 28, 2010 / 4:48 pm

    Mmmmm that caprese salad looks great!!!! <333

  30. September 28, 2010 / 5:28 pm

    Wow. That looks amazing!! I’m new to your blog and a soon-to-be-follower!


  31. September 28, 2010 / 6:01 pm

    Oh wow, this looks AMAZING!!!! I just woke up and this happened to be the first blog I read this morning. This is making me so hungry right now. Yum

  32. September 28, 2010 / 6:31 pm

    WOW! SANDY THAT looks simply delightful!!!

  33. jennifer young
    September 28, 2010 / 6:38 pm

    oh sandy, you never fail!
    first off i’m jealous that you own your own home and have a yard/garden!!

    secondly caprese salads are my most favorite salads currently! you can’t go wrong with some mozza, basil, toms, and balsamic!!

    thanks for sharing these recipes! looks like i’ll be making that mushroom flatbread in the near future:)!

    hope you are having a good day!

  34. September 28, 2010 / 7:55 pm

    I’m really not much of a cook but I love basil in cooking. Your recipes look amazing! I simply adore that you share recipes with us and have beautiful photography to match.

  35. September 28, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    My mouth is watering!

    I just picked up a basil plant last week at the store and it is already dying. I’m not sure what I did to kill it. is there a trick or something?

    xx Kirby

  36. September 28, 2010 / 8:55 pm

    Your flatbreads look so delicious! I definitely will try that. thanks! I love caprese salads, too. That’s my fave way to use basil, actually. Yum!!

  37. September 28, 2010 / 9:03 pm

    Oh, I LOVE basil! And what great recipes – thanks!!

  38. September 29, 2010 / 4:52 pm

    Wow. Making my mouth water – these look simply delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  39. September 29, 2010 / 9:14 pm

    all of this looks so yummy! i wish summer could continue, but the smell of basil always makes me so happy.

  40. September 30, 2010 / 7:37 pm

    Sandy I’m drooling over here!!! Haha. I looooove to add fresh basil on top of pasta! mmm.

  41. October 8, 2010 / 2:05 am

    Basil is one of my favorite spices. I’ve grown up in my family holiday home in Southern Italy, where basil is everywere and at its finest (the color, the taste, the incredibly good smell).
    Let me tell you a little trick: besides drying it, there’s another great way of always having basil for your recipes. When the leaves are big and fresh, wash them and dry them with a towel. Then put a big bunch of leaves in a square of tin foil, fold and close the square at the edges avoiding to squash the basil and freeze. MA and my mum we call them “basil candies” for the shape and I can tell you that when you will put the freezed basil in a sauce it will be as good as freshly picked! 🙂
    (Hope the explanation was clear enough!)

  42. October 10, 2010 / 7:14 pm

    Basil is my favorite herb…yum! I love to use it in everything…especially caprese salad. Thanks so much for the recipes you included. ♥

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