Before the last of summer’s tomatoes are gone, I’d like to introduce you to a fresh twist on this Italian classic:
Tomatoes, garlic, coconut oil, and Thai basil. Italy meets Southeast Asia.
Tomatoes and garlic are familiar enough. Ever use coconut oil or Thai basil?
Tropical Traditions sent me a jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to try in my recipes, and I’ve used (and loved) it in everything from curries, stir-fry dishes, and roasted veggies to cakes, muffins, granola, and more.
One of the best things about unrefined coconut oil is the fresh coconut scent and taste that it gives to your food. Take advantage of this flavor boost in your cooking. The Southeast Asian-Inspired Spaghetti recipe, below, has a light coconut taste from unrefined coconut oil.
For a bold coconut flavor, such as in a curry, start out by sauteing the ingredients in unrefined coconut oil and then later thickening with coconut cream or milk.
If the taste of coconut won’t go well with the ingredients in a particular recipe, you’re better off using a different oil that time and saving your unrefined coconut oil for the recipes where it can really shine.
A hint of coconut flavor from unrefined coconut oil is almost always welcome in baking. Coconut complements fruits of all kinds, chocolate, and nuts. The melting point of coconut oil is about 76° F. When the temperature is above 76°, coconut oil is liquid. Below 76°, it is solid. This makes it very versatile for baked goods. Unrefined coconut oil is easily melted if you need a liquid oil. If you need a solid oil, like butter or shortening, just chill it in the refrigerator. Unrefined coconut oil makes a flaky vegan pie crust with ease.
The final ingredient in our southeast Asian foursome is Thai basil. Thai basil is easy to grow and is quickly becoming more common to find in nurseries. Or simply pick up a package of fresh leaves on your next trip to an Asian grocery store. Thai basil is sweet and has a distinctive anise flavor. It will lend an authentic touch to your Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Try Thai basil in curries, with stir-fried ginger eggplant, or fresh in salads.
- 8 ounces uncooked brown rice spaghetti
- 2 cups baby broccoli, cut into 1-1/2" to 2" lengths
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup Thai basil, julienned
- 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- Bring water to boil in a large pasta pot with insert. Blanch the chopped baby broccoli for 1 minute in the boiling water. Remove the insert and set the baby broccoli aside. Do not discard the water. Separate stems and florets when cool.
- If you prefer your tomatoes peeled, you can dip them in the boiling water before cooking the spaghetti. Then peel and chop the tomatoes while the pasta cooks.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and the brown rice spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Drain excess water and set cooked spaghetti aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the baby broccoli stems and cook 2 more minutes, stirring often.
- Reduce heat slightly to medium-low and add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and the cooked spaghetti. Stir gently to coat the noodles with oil.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and julienned Thai basil and stir gently to combine. Check the seasoning and add more sea salt if desired. Cook until spaghetti and vegetables are heated through.
- Enjoy! This dish is also good chilled as a pasta salad.
(This recipe was shared at: Gluten Free Friday)
Enter to win a 32 ounce jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! (a $29.50 value) There are 3 ways to win:
- Subscribe to Tropical Traditions’ Email Newsletter for special sales and free recipes.
Leave a me a separate comment below with your name and email address after completing each item. Each comment will count as an entry. The giveaway starts today, Sunday, September 18, 2011 and ends Wednesday, September 28, 2011. A winner will be picked at random via Random.org on Thursday, September 29, 2011. Open to residents of U.S. & Canada.
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.