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Do you have favourite herbs, the ones you wouldn’t be without in the garden or kitchen?  I love rosemary and sage in the winter, the fresh leaves of parsley and coriander in spring, but for the best of summer herbs- it has to be basil.  Basil is a real summer herb, while others can be kept going through the winter, basil needs warmth and sunshine to grow well and taste good.

Basil

And being as summer can be all too short in these parts, especially this year, we need to make the most of the fabulous flavour that basil brings to a dish.  It makes great pesto, and is a perfect partner for ripe tomatoes.  Add some sweet, ripe peaches to the tomato and basil mix and you have a salsa that’s just singing with summer flavours.  It’s good with cheese – try it with grilled halloumi, or with a slice of creamy Lancashire.  And spooned onto a slice of toasted baguette it makes fantastic crostini.

Being as this is very simple, and also seasonal, it’s going to be my offering for this month’s Simple and in Season over at Fabulicious Food.  If you’re needing for some inspiration for summer cooking, this could be a good place to look!

 Grilled tomato & peach salsa

Tomato and peach crostini5 medium tomatoes

1 ripe peach

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

freshly ground black pepper

1tsp balsamic vinegar

12 basil leaves

sea salt

Cut the tomatoes in half and put cut side up in a baking dish.  Cut the peach into quarters, removing the stone, and add them to the baking dish.  Sprinkle the tomatoes and peach with olive oil, thyme leaves and a good grinding of black pepper.  Put under a medium to hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes – until the tomatoes are hot and the peaches are starting to brown slightly.

When they are cool enough, roughly chop the tomatoes and peaches.  Put the pieces in a small bowl, add the balsamic vinegar and torn basil leaves and give everything a gentle stir to mix well.  Season with salt, and more pepper if needed, to taste.

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