Leeks are closely related to onions and garlic and share this sulfurous family's reputation for cardiovascular benefits.
They emit a fresh fragrance similar to scallions, but are much milder in flavor.
Basil is traditionally used in South Asia as a brain tonic and for treatment of stress, asthma and diabetes, while recent animal research indicates that this popular culinary herb possesses cardiovascular health potential.
Smoked Salmon Pasta with Crispy Basil
8 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
2 medium size leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 oz fresh basil, stalks removed (optional)
1/2 cup light cream
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to instructions on pack.
While the pasta is cooking, place the 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over a gentle heat and sauté the leeks for 10 minutes or until tender.
Cover the bottom of a heavy saucepan with 1/4 inch of oil and place the pan over medium heat. When hot (not smoking hot), fry the basil leaves for 5 seconds. Remove the leaves and drain on absorbent paper.
Drain the pasta and add to the leeks, then stir in the salmon and cream. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.
Return the frying pan to the heat and reheat gently for 2‒3 minutes.
Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle the basil leaves over the top. Serve immediately.