A friend made a dish similar to this and I just had to recreate it - hers was delicious! This version has a good mix of veggies, plus black beans and feta cheese to give it a pretty mix of colors. I used a green apple balsamic vinegar in this salad but a red wine vinegar would also work well. This Tangy Black Bean and Feta Salad is a great dish for experimentation!
I love fresh pesto. It's a great use for my basil plant when it's growing out of control - and then I have tons of pesto to spice up my pasta, pizza, spaghetti, and numerous other dishes. Pesto is relatively quick to make, stores well until ready to use, or freeze for later. Homemade pesto is not only tastier, it's also better for you because it doesn't need all the sodium and preservatives to keep it lasting forever on the shelf. Make tons to share with friends or freeze and enjoy pesto all winter long.
Making pizza dough yourself is healthier, more convenient (in my opinion), and cheaper than buying it from the store. I can see the argument that buying pre-made dough is quicker (if you're going to the store anyways), but this recipe only takes a 1/2 hour. So as long as you have flour and yeast at home, don't make a special trip to the store!
Make extra and freeze for later or make pizza. Yum!
Once your basil gets taller, and before it starts to flower, it's a good idea to cut it back so it will keep producing a lot of leaves. You can use those leaves in your dinner recipe (pesto recipe), or you can make new basil plants for your friends. All you need is a cup of water and two weeks. Voila - a cute basil gift for friends!