As I write this, the sun is out, the sky is blue and, yes, the birds are, in fact, singing.  The Wondermutt has just had a wander by and is looking for a good place to crash for her morning snooze (“Is this a good bit of sunshine?  No, maybe I’ll snooze in this bit of sunshine, instead … “).  I have green beans on the vine which will be lightly steamed later tonight, Swiss chard which will be steamed later this week and some fennel that needs another week, then it will be turned into something (not quite sure what, yet).

Unfortunately, though, my tomatoes are only now in flower, so I don’t know if they’ll have time to come to fruit and ripen before autumn … we’ll have to see.  This is my fault, I planted early last year and I may have planted too late this year. 

So, this morning, I’ll head off to the farmers market to see what they have on offer, but I know I’ll definitey be bringing home some corn on the cob and heirloom tomatoes to get me through until mine come in.  Then, it’s mowing the grass, laundry (and more laundry and more laundry) and regular “life maintenance”.  But, when the weather is this nice, how can you mind?  All that to say, on days like this, who wants to make some complicated dinner that takes forever to assemble and cook? 

So, this is one of those throw-together dinners where the worst part of the preparation is waiting for the oven to preheat.  Like garlic?  Use garlic oil.  Want a little bit of bite?  Use chili oil, instead.  No basil?  Sage would be nice … or thyme … or a little rosemary …

Lemon and Basil Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • garlic oil
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • salt and pepper
  • big bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Place the chicken in a roasting pan, then squeeze the lemon quarters over them, placing the used lemon in the pan to cook with the chicken.  Drizzle with the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast for 35-40 minutes.  When the chicken has five more minutes to cook, remove from the oven and cut on the bias into thick slices, toss with the chopped basil and drizzle with the wine before popping back into the oven for a final five minutes.  I served with tomato and pepper pilaf and a big corn on the cob, fresh from the farmer’s market.  Happy summer!  Would also be fantatic if you poured the lot of it over some fresh linguini.