It feels more special to make a cocktail in the evening in the summer, instead of just pouring myself a glass of wine. Winter calls for red wine most nights, but this bright lemon basil spritz will hit the spot after a long day in (let’s be real) an overly air-conditioned office. If you don’t have or can’t find lemon basil, this would also be delicious with regular basil.
Lemon Basil Vodka Spritz
Makes One Drink
Hands-On Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min
1 cup loosely packed lemon basil leaves
1 TBS agave syrup
1.5 oz vodka
Juice of half a lemon
Can of soda water or seltzer water
Muddle together the basil leaves and agave at the bottom of a glass. Add lemon juice and vodka. Add ice. Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer. Garnish with additional basil leaves and lemon slices.
A few weeks ago, NYTFood published a list of quick and easy summer meal ideas by Mark Bittman. I made one of the suggestions while rushing to get out the door to the airport, desperate to avoid overpriced and meh airport and airplane food. It came together like a dream, even allowing for elaboration and personal touches. Keeping the garlic roughly chopped allows it to get soft and roasty, and the crispy prosciutto adds a nice crunch. Here’s my dressed-up take on Bittman’s excellent suggestion.
Pasta with Prosciutto and Breadcrumbs
Adapted from #14 on this list of summer meal ideas
Hands-On Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min
1 lb linguine
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed, and roughly chopped
3oz prosciutto, roughly chopped
Juice from 2 large lemons
2 TBP butter
1/4 cup + 2 TBP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt for pasta water
Basil for garnish
Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain, place in a large bowl, and toss with 2 TBP of olive oil and the lemon juice.
In a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook for about one minute. Add the garlic, breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes and cook until the breadcrumbs are toasted and the prosciutto is crispy.
Pour the breadcrumb and prosciutto mixture over the pasta and toss to combine. Serve with basil leaves and lemon slices for garnish!