Anyone who’s striving to follow a healthier diet should start by prepping more meals at home. Cooking your own food allows you to control portion sizes and ingredients used, not to mention it saves you money. But there is a learning curve when it comes to all that chopping, slicing, and dicing. That’s why we’ve collected 14 clever tips and tricks for cooking at home from our friends at Food & Wine—no fancy gadgets or chef-worthy knife skills required.
Basil is summer’s defining herb. In many parts of the Western world, the blossoming of this herb coincides with many of the season’s other darlings, like tomatoes and peaches. Naturally, the herb ― which is a member of the mint family ― is a perfect complement and can be found paired together in many dishes.
It is believed that basil first had its start in Asia and Africa ― but it quickly took off all over the world. While basil is available in over 60 varieties, the most popular kind is sweet Italian basil, known as Sweet Genovese. With big, soft leaves, it just begs to be served on top of pasta. Thai basil (which has smaller, pointed leaves) and purple opal basil (which is … purple) are also common these days.
Whichever kind you get your hands on, try them in a few of the recipes below.[/column]