Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer snacking

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2009)

Americans get a fourth of their daily calories from snacks. To help guard against diet-related illnesses, consider munching on nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. Vine-ripened grape tomatoes are a delicious choice this time of year. Easy to eat and full of immune boosting vitamin C, they marry well with fresh herbs. For a cool, tangy treat, try pairing them with a serving of basil chive dip.

2009 Cardamom Kitchen LLC All Rights Reserved

Serves 8


- Herbs provide flavor with minimal calories - a gift to anyone watching their weight. In this recipe, chives round out the flavor of sweet basil (a mix of cloves, mint, and cinnamon) with a taste of mild onions.
- Storing tomatoes in the refrigerator compromises their flavor and texture. Keep them on the kitchen counter instead, out of the sun.


5 ounces Neufchatel cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup sweet basil, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


Blend together the Neufchatel cheese and sour cream.

Mix in the garlic powder, sweet basil, and chives.

Season with pepper.

Serve with grape tomatoes or other vegetables.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2009)

Sweet basil has delicate green leaves. To chop them, gather the leaves in a tight mound and rock a sharp knife over it. Then, hold the knife perpendicular to the original position and rock it over the leaves in the opposite direction.

Basil loses it flavor when subjected to heat. Add it toward the end of a recipe when cooking.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2009)

Chives produce pale purple flowers in the spring and reed like leaves all summer long. The blossoms impart an intense onion flavor so use them sparingly. Discard the tough stems.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2009)

Like basil, the flavor of chives fades when heated. So throw them in at the end of your recipe. Or use them raw. As a mild member of the onion family, they add flavor to salads and Deviled eggs.

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