Fresh basil tends to be infested with aphids, thrips, and other insects. Please see “Kashrut Instructions” below for instructions on checking basil for insect infestation.
- 6 oz. macaroni or shell pasta (2 cups dry)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 3 large bell peppers, red, green, yellow, or orange
- Drop pasta into 2-quarts boiling water, cover and return to boil. Boil gently 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, milk, vinegar, and garlic in medium bowl. Add pasta and toss lightly to blend. Chill until ready to serve.
- Roast peppers on grill or under broiler. To grill, place whole pepper on grill over medium coals. Grill, turning as needed, for 15 minutes or until skin is blackened. If broiling, place peppers in shallow pan and broil 3 inches from heat, turning as needed, for 15 to 25 minutes or until skin is blackened. While hot, place grilled or roasted peppers in plastic bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Peel, stem, seed, and cut in thick slices.
- Remove basil leaves from stems, reserving 6 to 8 sprigs for garnish. Stack remaining leaves and slice crosswise in narrow strips. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup basil strips and pistachios (reserve 2 Tablespoons) to pasta; stir to mix.
- Spoon pasta onto serving platter; surround with peppers and reserved basil sprigs. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.