Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Basil

Although basil, an herb, is often used in small quantities in cooking and baking, it surprisingly adds a lot of nutrition to any dish in which it’s featured.   Basil contains several different polyphenols, a type of antioxidant known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. Basil is also a good source of Vitamin A and an excellent source of Vitamin K (just two tablespoons of basil leaves contain over a quarter of the Recommended Daily Allowance!). While basil is commonly featured whole in Italian and Indian dishes, it also tastes delicious pureed into chimichurri sauce, a traditional Argentinean condiment.

Chimichurri

Ingredients
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped, or ¼ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Recipe from Food & Nutrition magazine, July/August 2014

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