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Have you heard of the stinking rose? On nearly every dish that comes from our kitchen, the stinking rose is the star. So much are the garlic filled dishes loved, it is common to say wholeheartedly, “Don’t eat it all!”. Once my dad even ate a raw garlic clove, just to see what it tasted like. While I would never do that, I still love garlic.

Seven years ago, on April 16th, a cool breeze blew our neighbor’s tree in front of the window that faced the street. I watched each passing car intently, wondering if it would be the one that carried my baby brother. In the wee hours of the morning, he had been born, and I couldn’t wait to see him. My grandparents had bought my sister and me teal jelly beans, so I chewed them nervously as I waited. Just as the clock chimed 11:00, the garage door opened and I heard the small wails of a newborn baby. My sister and I made such a fuss over our new little plaything that we worked up an appetite. After a while of baby tears, my little brother fell asleep and Mama rested with him. Then Daddy cooked his forever-to-be-remembered Basil-Asiago-Garlic-Olive Oil Tortillas. My dad rarely cooks, but when he does, he adds too much cheese or too much garlic, which is awesome. The Italian-style tortillas became legendary.

My little baby brother loves these Italian-style tortillas and has grown to cherish the stinking rose, too. He now joins in the chorus of, “Don’t eat it all!”

Basil-Asiago-Garlic- Olive Oil Tortillas
Taken in the Stone Soup Test Kitchen

Serves 1
Takes 7-10 minutes


2oz / 60g asiago cheese, shredded or thinly sliced (you can substitute with parmesan, pecorino or other hard, melting cheese)
1½ teaspoons olive oil
6 leaves of fresh basil
1 small garlic clove (or half of a medium one)
2 flour tortillas (10-inch / 25.5cm)
1 tomato, diced


  1. Pour the olive oil onto a nonstick pan. Set the stove to medium heat.
  2. Crush the garlic over the pan and sautée. Do not let it brown.
  3. When the garlic is sautéed, transfer it to one tortilla. Place the tortilla, garlic side up, in the pan.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the tortilla.
  5. Tear five of the basil leaves and put them on the cheese. Top with the second tortilla.
  6. Let it cook for one and a half minutes on each side.
  7. Top with freshly diced tomatoes and the last leaf of basil.

Enjoy as an afternoon snack, appetizer, or a quick lunch.

Basil-Asiago-Garlic- Olive Oil Tortillas Catherine Gruen
Catherine Gruen, 11
Chino Hills, CA