Saturday, 19 June 2010

A couple of recipes using Mediterranean herbs

Basil Pesto

From the garden
· 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
· 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
From the shop
· 60g (3/4 cup) shredded parmesan
· 45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts
· 5 tbs olive oil
Heat oven to 180°C. Spread the pine nuts on a tray and bake in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for approximately 10 minutes to cool.
Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.
· To freeze (for up to 4 months): Transfer pesto to a small airtight container and smooth the surface. Drizzle with olive oil to cover. Label, date and freeze. To thaw: Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until thawed. Stir to combine.

Basil aioli
From the garden
· 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
· 2 garlic cloves, crushed
· 2 tbs chopped fresh basil
From the shop
· 170g (2/3 cup) fat-free mayonnaise
Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic and basil in a bowl. Season with pepper. For a thinner consistency, if desired, gradually add 1-2 tablespoons cold water, whisking until smooth and well combined.

Potato Bake with Garlic, Rosemary and Thyme
From the garden
· 1.5kg potatoes
· 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
· 1 tbs rosemary leaves, finely chopped
· 2 tsp whole rosemary leaves
From the shop
· 1/2 cup (125ml) cream
· 1/2 cup (125ml) chicken or vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a rectangular ovenproof dish. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices about 3-5mm thick. Arrange one-third of the potato into a layer in the base of the dish. Sprinkle half the garlic and rosemary over the potato. Repeat another layer of potato, the remaining garlic and chopped rosemary, then a final layer of potato slices.
2. Combine the cream and stock in a jug, and whisk with a fork to combine. Drizzle over the top of the potatoes. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and scatter the whole rosemary leaves on top.
3. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Stand for 5 minutes, then cut into rectangles to serve.

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