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Entries in basil (19)

Tuesday
May072013

wild garlic and basil oil

it’s been a while since i made pizza but it was worth the wait to enjoy this version, which used a wild garlic and basil oil as the base sauce.

wild garlic is wonderfully flexible and i enjoy using it with pasta as well as risottos and pilafs. however, i have learnt the hard way that using it in a pesto can result in something too pungent to enjoy. the key is to mix it with another flavour – rocket is nice, as are other herbs. this time i used a 50:50 mix of basil and wild garlic.

i smeared this on the pizza dough, added thin slices of courgette, salami and mozzarella. the result was wonderfully fresh and spring like.

Monday
Mar122012

spring salmon with lemon, basil and broccoli

the weather in london was wonderful this weekend – bright, mild and dry which meant i got to spend a couple of hours in the garden, tidying it up after several wintery months of neglect. and then we had a late lunch, outside, while we enjoyed the final bits of sunshine – so exciting to be eating in the garden again!

this dish was inspired by a lovely lunch that friends cooked for us last week. in an ovenproof dish i put chopped chilli and garlic, tenderstem broccoli, chunks of red peppers, cherry tomatoes, the juice of a lemon plus the squeezed lemon cut into chunks, a couple of chopped anchovies, some capers, a handful of basil leaves plus a glug of both white wine and olive oil. oh, and some black pepper.

i cooked this for 10 minutes at 180c and then added my salmon, which was wrapped in smoked pancetta, and cooked it for another 15 minutes. a final few minutes under the grill to crisp up the pancetta and it was done. serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Saturday
Mar102012

pickled pumpkin – version 2 

 

this is the second pickled pumpkin recipe i made. the pickling mix varies quite a lot between the two recipes – rowley leigh's recipe uses cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and spicy flavourings whereas this skye gyngell recipe uses white wine, a much smaller amount of vinegar, a small amount of caster sugar plus herbs and mustard seeds.

truth be told there wasn’t a massive difference in the end flavour apart from a slightly more vinegary chilli kick to the first recipe. i’d happily use either version in future and would probably mix and match between the two recipes.

this dish was very different – the spicy sweet pickled squash contrasts well with the bitter leaves (i used a mix of radicchios) the creamy buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil oil. interestingly the few pecans added a really important contrast of textures – don’t be tempted to miss them out. the similarity was that once again i think this is best served as a starter so you don’t get bored of the pumpkin’s very simple flavour.

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Thursday
Mar012012

orecchiette with aubergine, basil and lemon 

i am constantly amazed by the range of pasta dish recipes that exist – there are over a hundred on this blog and i still keep coming across dishes that are different from those i’ve had before.  

nigel slater described this recipe as the perfect food for “someone returning from the fruit patch scratched and bloodied”. i wasn’t wounded but i had had a tough day at work and this definitely hit the spot.

the flesh of a roasted (or chargrilled) aubergine is mixed with olive oil (choose a nice one so the flavour can shine through), lemon juice and basil for freshness plus, in my case, some grated parmesan to add an extra layer of richness and indulgence. the pasta is tossed with this aubergine puree and then topped with slow cooked and caramelised onions. plus parmesan shavings.  

it’s delicious and indulgent. and perfect for ruth’s 5 year celebration of presto pasta nights. ruth – you have created the most enormous and fabulous pasta recipe resource that anyone could every need, and with such generosity of spirit with the shared and inclusive approach you’ve taken. it’s my pleasure to share this with you.

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Tuesday
Oct042011

summer prawn and courgette stew

this weekend was glorious – sunshine throughout and wonderfully warm temperatures. i didn’t really feel like cooking but equally i wanted to eat summery food that fitted the weather and my lazy, happy mood.

this stew was pulled together to use up the last few courgettes from our garden and various bits from the fridge. no real recipe but i’ll share what i did – uncooked prawns were marinated for about an hour with garlic, red chilli, torn basil leaves and olive oil. i then scooped most of garlic, chilli and oil out into a pan and used this as the base for slowly cooking a bulb of sliced fennel, until it was soft and beginning to sweeten (i added a glug of white wine to help it along, part way through).

i then added the courgettes and a handful of cherry tomatoes, also from the garden. once the tomatoes started to break down in went the prawns, the zest and juice of a lemon plus plenty more basil, until the prawns cooked through. i served it with a drizzle of olive oil and we ate it with warm ciabatta, sliced and smeared with butter, to mop up the juices.