Basil for Your Thoughts

A new herb box joined the backyard to frolic with our other attempts at gardening. These additions to the family include cinnamon basil (yet to be used) and purple basil, with deep red violet leaves not usually associated with this generally verdant herb.

The perfume from a flower can’t be beat, unless it is competing with the sweet scent of basil. This is the smell of spring. Allow your fingers to lightly graze the leaves and carry that smell with you for the rest of the afternoon.

I can’t wait to make a fresh caprese salad, but in the meantime my pantry yielded ingredients for something just as spectacular!

Artichoke, White Bean, & Feta Salad

1 Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed & Drained
1 Can White Beans, Rinsed & Drained
Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
¼ Large Onion (½ Small), Diced
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
Feta Cheese
1 Tsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley
Several Fresh Oregano Leaves, Torn
5 -6 Fresh Purple Basil Leaves, Torn (Regular is ok too!)
1-2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1-2 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar
Red Pepper Flakes
Kosher Salt & Cracked Black Pepper

Choose your favorite large Tupperware, no need to dirty multiple bowls
Give the already quartered artichoke hearts a rough chop
Combine the Artichoke Hearts, White Beans, Tomatoes, Onion, and Garlic together
Add Feta Cheese
Sprinkle fresh herbs on top
Dress with olive oil and white wine vinegar
I like a generous douse of red pepper flakes, but follow your heart
Give several cranks of fresh black pepper
A whisper of salt is all you need, as the Artichoke Hearts and Feta already provide an abundance of salty goodness

I brought this delight to work to harvest for my daily lunch. One bag of baby kale and spinach makes the perfect base for this briny bean salad. The use of fresh herbs adds a bright spot of flavor to liven up a dull day in the office.

Day two displays an already sizable dent in this bean salad that does not go unnoticed. Not sure if it will last through the whole week…

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