Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crispy Basil Leaves & Marinade for Tofu or Chicken

Basil crispy

My CSA box came with a glimpse of summer a few weeks ago: a small bag of beautiful basil leaves.  It was a bit unexpected, and I was at a loss for a clever way to prepare the beautiful leaves.  Pesto seemed too obvious and my husband vetoed that idea.  He suggested a Thai basil dish--something I had never made at home before.  I started to do some research and decided to crisp half the leaves in an oven instead of frying them.  I decided to use the remaining basil for a lovely Asian style marinade.

The recipe below was excellent with tofu but would work as well on bite size pieces of chicken.  If you are gluten free or wheat free, please be aware that soy sauce is a common source of hidden wheat. 

By the way if you are looking for an excellent CSA in the Seattle area: Jubilee Farm is a great one to support.   I am as hooked on the fresh produce they send me as I am on farmer Erick's weekly newsletter which is included in every box.  They've started their own blog as well: The Growing Revolution .

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basil-crispy tofu with rice

Crispy Basil Leaves
Wait until serving time to add the crispy leaves to your dish to retain the contrast in texture between the leaves in the marinade and the ones you've crisped.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Oil two cookie sheets.
  • Coat basil leaves with vegetable oil of your choice and lay flat onto the cookie sheets.
  • Sprinkle sea salt on top.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes or until crisp.  Remove and let cool.
  • Reserve to top your cooked marinated chicken or tofu.

Basil Asian Marinade for Tofu or Chicken
This recipe will make enough marinade for 1 lb of firm tofu, or bite size pieces of chicken tenders.

1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp GF soy sauce 
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp of brown sugar, or maple syrup

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large dish. 
  • Add your protein of choice and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  You can leave it marinating all day or overnight for convenience.
  Print this recipe

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