Posts Tagged With: Basil

Pistou soup

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French pistou sauce is like Italian pesto except has no pinenuts, and is a classic accompaniment to this rich veggie soup.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, beans, basil, onion, garlic, bay
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on jamieoliver.com
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Mixing bowls – 2 lge, 3 med
  • Colander
  • Medium stockpot
  • Measures – litre jug, ½ cup
  • Scales
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Serving bowls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 zucchini
  • A small handful green beans
  • 2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans
  • ½ cup small macaroni

Pistou sauce:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 6 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 60g parmesan or grana padano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, then trim, clean and slice the leeks.
  2. Wash the potatoes, carrots, celery and zucchini, then chop them all into small cubes by slicing lengthways first and then into dice (peeling the carrots but not potatoes).
  3. Wash the beans and drain them, then tail them and chop into 1cm lengths.
  4. Wash the parsley, pat dry then pick the leaves and roughly chop.
  5. Pour a film of olive oil into a medium stockpot over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and leek for 5 minutes.
  6. Add all the rest of the chopped ingredients, the bay leaves and the tin of tomatoes.
  7. Drain and rinse the cannellini and borlotti beans then add them in.
  8. Cover with a litre of water, season and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender – check by piercing a piece of potato with a sharp knife.
  9. Add the macaroni and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes until cooked, adding a little more water if the soup is too thick.
  10. Meanwhile, for the pistou sauce: Peel the garlic and add to a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle in some flaked salt then start to pound to break down.
  11. Wash the basil and spin it dry, then pick off the basil leaves and add to the garlic. Pound until puréed, then finely grate in the parmesan (weighing the piece first) and muddle in the extra virgin olive oil to make a paste.
  12. Divide the soup into bowls and serve with a dollop of pistou on the top.

Notes: What is pistou? Why do we weigh the parmesan before starting to grate it?

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Easy potato salad with tomatoes, basil and rocket

Whether in the park, or at home with a BBQ this salad is always a winner – especially with this simple but delicious dressing.

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, tomatoes, rocket, chives, coriander, mint, spring onions
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  •       Scrubby brush
  •       Large saucepan
  •       Chopping board & knife
  •       Measures: ¼ cup
  •       Salad spinner, paper towel
  •       Mixing bowls – large, medium
  •       Garlic press
  •       Tea towel
  •       Colander
  •       Metal spoon
  •       Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  •       1kg potatoes
  •       A small handful mint
  •       A small handful tomatoes
  •       4 spring onions
  •       A small handful parsley
  •       A small handful chives
  •       A small handful coriander
  •       Flaked salt

Dressing

  •       1 garlic clove
  •       1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •       Flaked salt & black pepper
  •       A sprig of basil

What to do:

  • Wash the potatoes well, scrubbing with a brush if needed, and cut any large ones in half or quarter. Put them all into the large saucepan, cover with cold water and set to boil.
  • Wash the mint and add to the potatoes with a tablespoon of cooking salt. Once the water is boiling, check to see if tender after about 15 minutes.
  • To make the dressing: Peel and squeeze the garlic through the press into a medium bowl. Measure in the olive oil with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Wash the basil, pick the leaves and spin them dry in the salad spinner. Tear into pieces with your fingers and add to the oil.
  • Wash the remaining herbs and spring onions and dry well. Pick the herbs and finely chop; remove the outer layer of spring onion (discarding it) and chop into slices about half the size of the nail on your little finger.
  • Wash the tomatoes and carefully slice into small chunks. Wash the rocket in several changes of water and spin dry. Slice into thin ribbons.
  • When the potatoes are tender, pour out into a colander and drain. Shake to remove excess water and turn back into the warm saucepan, immediately adding the dressing, spring onions, tomato chunks and rocket. Using the metal spoon, carefully turn the warm mixture so that all is covered. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle over the chopped herbs and turn out into serving bowls. 

Notes: Why do we start cooking the potatoes in cold water? What is a thin ribbon?

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Penne pesto

For a spicy alternative, rocket leaves can be added to the basil and pounded together or you could try a parsley combination… cooked chickpeas can be used in place of pine nuts in case of nut allergy, and gluten free pasta works fantastically!

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe source: pesto adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Large saucepan or stockpot
  • Mixing bowls – 4 mixed sizes
  • Scales
  • Salad spinner
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Spatula
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • 250g dried penne
  • 1 big bunch basil, to yield about 100g
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese – grana padano or parmigiano
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

 

What to do:

  • Fill the large saucepan or stockpot with water and set it to boil.
  • Weigh the pasta and add it to the pot when boiling with a tablespoon of salt – cook for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them! Then wash in several changes of water and thoroughly spin-dry the basil.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic clove and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar with a sprinkle of flaked salt. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, then using the spatula, scrape out the pesto into a clean big mixing bowl.
  • When the pasta is cooked, scoop out into the pesto bowl with a small amount of cooking water to moisten. Divide among bowls and serve!

Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? Can you name any other pasta sauces?

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People-powered pesto!

For a spicy alternative, rocket leaves can be added to the basil and pounded together or you might like to try a parsley combination… Cooked chickpeas can be used in place of the pine nuts in case of allergy.

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: basil
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
Makes: about 3 cups

Equipment:

  • Bowls – big, med, small
  • Scales
  • Salad spinner
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls if needed
Ingredients:

  • 1 big bunch basil, to yield about 100g
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

 

What to do:

  • Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them!
  • Then wash in several changes of water and thoroughly spin-dry the basil.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic clove and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar with a sprinkle of flaked salt. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Mix into steaming hot pasta, spread on bruschetta, drizzle over tomato slices, serve as part of an antipasto plate with goats’ cheese and roasted capsicum or spoon into serving bowls to serve as a dip with flatbreads.

Notes: What else can you use with pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? Can you name any other pasta sauces?

ourkitchengarden.net

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Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana

The key here is to make sure the eggplant is well-cooked and therefore slippery and succulent… combined with melted cheese, tomato and basil, well – that’s a marriage made in heaven!

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Eggplant parmie!

Fresh from the garden: eggplant, basil, onion, garlic, thyme, carrot
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali in Molto Mario
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Pastry brush
  • Baking sheet
  • Paper towel
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Bowls – big, med, small
  • Scales
  • Grater
  • Peeler
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plate
  • Measures – cup, ¼ cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Egg slice
  • 4 small baking dishes
  • Pot holders
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggplant
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • A 200g pot of bocconcini
  • 50g Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Basic tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • A handful thyme sprigs
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Flaked salt

 

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 230C. Using a pastry brush, oil a baking sheet.
  • Wipe the eggplant and then carefully cut each into slices about ½ cm thick – you may need the mandoline for this, set to the thickest setting. Lightly season each disc with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet. Bake the eggplant for about 10 minutes until the slices begin turning deep brown on top.

Then make the tomato sauce:

  • Peel the onion and finely chop. Peel the garlic and finely slice. Wash and wipe the thyme dry, and then strip off the leaves to yield 3 tablespoons. Wash, peel and grate the carrot.
  • Then: Heat the olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until thick. Season with salt to taste.

Continued…

  • While the eggplant is baking and the sauce is simmering,  you can organise the rest of the dish: pick the basil leaves, wash them well and spin them totally dry. Rolling up a few leaves at a time into a roll, slice them into very fine ribbons (chiffonade).
  • Drain the bocconcini and carefully cut the balls into thin slices.
  • Measure the parmesan and grate it. Weigh the breadcrumbs and have ready.
ourkitchengarden.net

The stacking game

To complete the dish:

  • When the eggplant slices are done, slide them out of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 180C.
  • We are going to layer the different ingredients into each of the four small baking dishes – to start, sprinkle half a teaspoon or so of olive oil into each dish and then carefully place the largest eggplant slices on top of the oil.
  • Over each slice, spread a spoon or two of tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle with a teaspoon of basil. Place one layer of mozzarella over each and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated parmesan. Place the smaller slices of eggplant over each of the discs and repeat with tomato sauce, basil, and the 2 cheeses. Repeat the layering again until all the ingredients are used.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the eggplant dish, and bake uncovered until the cheese melts and the tops turn light brown, about 15/20 minutes.
  • Using pot holders, carefully place on serving plates and serve immediately.

Notes: This dish’s original name is melanzane alla Parmigiana – what does it mean and which language is it from? What other foreign language dishes can you name?

ourkitchengarden.net

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Rocket and basil pesto

For this alternative pesto, we add rocket leaves to the basil and pound them together but you could also try a parsley or even coriander combination… We love them all! It also seems like a lot of olive oil so tone it back if you like, but I think it’s warranted, especially over freshly cooked pasta & muddled with a ladleful of  pasta-water!

ourkitchengarden.net

Handmade pasta, rocket & basil pesto

Fresh from the garden: rocket, basil, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: 3 cups

Equipment:

  • Mortar & pestle
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Tea towel
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Medium bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls if needed
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch rocket
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

  • Before you wash the basil or rocket, pick the stalks from the basil and discard. Weigh the leaves with the rocket – you’ll need about 100g all up.
  • Wash and then spin-dry the basil and rocket, you might need to do this in several stages to make sure the leaves are as dry as can be!
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  • Mix into steaming hot pasta, spread on bruschetta, drizzle over tomato slices, serve as part of an antipasto plate with goats’ cheese and roasted capsicum or spoon into serving bowls to serve as a dip with flatbreads.

Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? What does several mean? Why do we weigh the leaves before we wash them?

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Quick pesto!

This popular sauce is, of course, perfect for steaming hot pasta – but what about as part of an antipasto plate with feta or goats’ cheese, roasted capsicum and garlicky bruschetta? Or even added to a toasted cheese sandwich mmmmm… And the Quick part? At school we usually work the children’s muscles in pounding the leaves, but here is a no-fuss food processor option for home… I mean, why bark when you have a dog? Woof.

ourkitchengarden.net

Basil!

Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa

Equipment:

  • Scales
  • Bowls – big, medium
  • Salad spinner
  • Grater
  • Small frying pan
  • Food processor
  • Chopping board and small knife
  • Spatula
  • Measuring jug
  • Tablespoon & jar if needed
  • Serving bowls if needed
Ingredients:

  • 1 big bunch basil, to yield about 100g
  • 50g parmesan or grana padano
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Flaked salt
  • 200ml extra-virgin olive oil plus extra

What to do:

  • Wash and carefully dry the basil, picking off the leaves and discarding the stalks. Weigh to make sure you have the correct amount and then wash in cold water in a big bowl and spin dry thoroughly.
  • Weigh then grate the parmesan.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t burn.
  • Peel the garlic clove, chop it into small pieces and place in the bowl of the food processor with a good pinch of salt. Blend these to a paste and then add the pine nuts and blend again. Stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mixture. Blending, gradually pour in all the olive oil. Scrape down with the spatula once or twice.
  • Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve, or if using later, spoon into a jar, pour in a thin layer of olive oil to cover, add the lid and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days.

Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? What could you use instead of pine nuts?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Garlic bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

We can elevate even the simplest of snacks into works of art by performing a little garlic magic first… And over an open bbq flame at home takes the toast to an altogether more yummy stratosphere…

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: tomatoes, garlic, basil
Recipe source: Melissa

Equipment:

  • Knives – bread, small
  • Paper towel
  • Salad spinner
  • Bowls
  • Chopping board
  • Grill trays
  • Tongs
  • Oven mitts
  • Garlic press
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:

  • A load of great sourdough bread
  • A bowl of tomatoes
  • A few sprigs of basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Flaked salt & black pepper

What to do:

  • Heat the grill on high.
  • Wash and gently dry the tomatoes on some paper towel. Carefully slice the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, taking care not to squeeze all the juice out!
  • Place in a big bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over the whole lot. Peel and then squeeze one clove of garlic through the press into the tomatoes.
  • Pick the basil leaves and wash in a clean bowl of cold water. Spin the leaves dry and then tear into tiny pieces and scatter over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and a grind of pepper, then gently toss with a large spoon to combine. Leave for the flavours to mingle.
  • Carefully slice the bread – you may find it easier to ask an adult to slice the loaf down the middle lengthways first, and cut each half separately – and place on grill trays.
  • Slide the bread into the oven to grill & lightly toast, and using the oven mitts, turn when needed (watching to make sure it doesn’t burn).
  • When ready bring toast out from the grill using the oven mitts. Cut the end off the remaining garlic cloves (you don’t need to peel them) and rub each cut-side down on the toast a few times.
  • Arrange onto serving plates with a spoonful of tomato mixture on each one. Yum! 

Notes: What happens when you rub the garlic onto the hot toast? What makes bread sourdough bread? Why do we let the flavours mingle?

ourkitchengarden.net

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Spring veggie planting

Today Olly and I planted our first Spring vegetable seeds. Since it has been so lovely and warm I’m hoping that the seeds will think it’s spring and not the winter that it truly is… sweetcorn, silverbeet and green dwarf beans, along with basil and oregano to go with the skerricks of tarragon that survive from last summer. There is so much hope with planting – in my case the results rarely live up to the expectation – and the fabulous feeling of actually having got out there and pulled the weeds out of the bleedin’ beds first. A tick off the to-do list, hooray! I will be smugly satisfied for a while now every time I look out of the kitchen window to our green-thumbed work…one big bed down, now only one small one to go…

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