Fresh Basil tends to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on insect inspection.
3 cups cubed cantaloupe
3 cups cubed watermelon
3 cups cubed honeydew
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons honey
18-ounce shredded mozzarella
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the melon cubes in a large bowl. Add the basil and mix to combine. Drizzle the honey over the melon. Add the mozzarella, jalapeno (if desired), and salt. Toss again and serve.
Fresh Herbs and Insect Infestation:
Fresh Basil and other herbs (including thyme, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and sage) are often used as spices or garnishing. 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.
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.
1. 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 non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.