basil


It is the 9th of August. The garden is over. It has been so hot and it was so dry that the garden finished early this year. We did get a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, and flowers this year. We just didn’t get enough rain at the right time.

Anyway, B has been eating a lot of tomatoes with just salt and I have been enjoying a bunch of cucumbers. I managed to salvage a couple of tomatoes for the Tomato Tart from Dorie’s Baking with Dorie (page 322)

I made one small tart for B. I am not a fan of tomatoes cooked or raw. Sauce, yes. Sundried, yes. Cooked or raw. Nope!

It is very simple to put together. Gruyere and cheddar cheese. Basil. Parsley. Honey and mustards. Super simple.

For more tarts visit with the other cooks/bakers from Tuesdays with Dorie.

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I needed something really easy for Wednesdays with Donna Hay. REALLY easy. I am prepping for two teas this weekend and I also wanted something new to serve. I ran across this recipe for Parmesan Wafers in Donna’s flavours. (pg 147)

Simple ingredients. Grated Parmesan (2 Tbl) and shredded basil (2 tsp). 5 minutes at 400 and done.(Normally we don’t publish the recipes but this one is just so simple.) One could increase one or the other of the ingredients and they would still turn out well.

It just doesn’t get any easier. And they are so delicate looking. And tasty. They would be perfect served with soup or a salad. Or just a snack. By the way KETO friendly!!

Want more? Check with Kayte and Gaye.

Yesterday was the last day of our Whole30.  WooHoo!!  We did it!!  That doesn’t mean we are quitting completely.  We have the reintroduction over the next ten days or so.  Slowly but surely getting back to ‘normal’ eating.  But recipes like this one will always be in the menu rotation.

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The list of ingredients is long but it is simple to make.  You an have a healthy dinner on the table in an hour.  Capers, tomatoes, chicken, onions, bell peppers, and shrooms.

The one thing about Whole30 is that what may seem like a lot of food for two is healthy and filling.  Just because it says two people doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat all of it.  This recipe used a pound of drumsticks and 1/2 pound of boneless thighs. That’s a lot of food. But… it’s all good for you!

The recipe is on page 334 of  The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom.  It is also on the Whole 30 blog.

Try it.  It is delicious.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 15 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Kayte picked this week’s theme for Eating with Ellie – Soup and Salad.  Really, we could make one or the other or both.  It’s still pretty warm in Louisiana these days so I went with salad.

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This is a rice salad mixed with pistachios, orange slices, and basil.  the dressing is made from red wine vinegar, mustard, orange juice, honey and EVOO.

I liked the mix of wild rice and brown rice with the nuts and fruit but I didn’t care much for the dressing.  The rice mix  added a nice ‘tooth feel’ to the salad. I will make it again – but with a different dressing.

I like that Ellie made me think, at least for me, outside of my regular salad ‘box’.

The recipe is from Ellie’s The Food You Crave (page 147) but is also on FoodTV.

There are more soups and/or salads at Eating With Ellie.

I like a good omelette.  Filled with ‘shrooms, ham, cheese.  Maybe a little basil.  I usually put all the goodies INSIDE the eggs.  But this dish from Ellie has everything – ham, cheese, ‘shroom, cheese, basil, and pesto – OUTSIDE the egg.  In fact it’s all stuffed INSIDE the mushroom.

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Grilled portobello benedict

I honestly didn’t like it at first.  But after a couple of bites it kind of grew on me.  Not enough to make it again like this, but it was rather tasty for breakfast.  I can definitely see all this in an omelette.

The ham added substance, the basil a touch of lightness and the pesto a burst of flavor. All laid out on a grilled portobello.

The recipe is on page 49 of Ellie Krieger’s so easy.  You can also find the recipe on FoodTV.

More eggs on EGGS-ACTLY!

If you would like to join us every Thursday the weekly themes are on Eating With Ellie.  Just find a recipe, cook, blog, and leave us a comment.  We’d love to have you

IT’s potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  That means we can cook from any chef that the group has used in the past.  This month I chose Yotam Ottolenghi because I haven’t cooked with him very much.  He was the chef back in 2013.  At that time I didn’t have any of his cookbooks.  Now, however, is a different story.  I have PLENTY, on my Kindle, and I am really taking a good look at his recipes.

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I chose the Lemon and Eggplant Risotto because this eggplant was begging to be used and I was lusting after some good risotto.

This is not a quick dish to make so don’t start it when you start the rest of your meal.  Start it before.  There are several steps you have to take before you actually start the risotto.

  1. ‘Burn’ an eggplant and then scoop out the pulp.
  2. Dice an eggplant and brown it until it is crispy.
  3. Sautee some onion and garlic.

After the onion and garlic are done then you can add in the wine, rice, and start making the risotto.  But let me tell you, it is worth every step and every dirty pan in the sink.  The sweetness of the eggplant mixed with the tart of the lemon zest and the semi sweetness of the basil is very mouth satisfying.  VERY!!!

Since I don’t have the book I cannot give you a page number in PLENTY, but I found it on The Hungry Goddess.

Visit with IHCC to see what else is on the Potluck table this week.

The theme for Eating with Ellie this week was The Color Purple which brough to mind all kinds of yummy veggies.  But I stayed with 

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because it is coming in from the garden now.  I love the Japanese eggplant.  It is so tender and it doesn’t really need to be peeled like the Big Bell.

I admit, I have made this before to go with some salmon patties  but I never blogged about it because it was an extra side. I had no trouble making it again this week. Especially since it is garden season and I could pick everything fresh. Fresh like pick in the morning, cook at night.

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Lots of wonderful  fresh eggplant, zucchini, garlic, basil, and tomatoes from the garden.  I had made a note that it needed a touch more salt so I added just a tad.  Perfect!

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy (page 192) , but you can also find it online.

There is more purple over on Eating with Ellie so go check it out.

It’s time for another recipe from Curtis Stone  This week the IHCC theme is snacks or Something to eat on the Sofa..  I suppose anything can be a snack but when you look at a recipe and the beginning line is, “This is a great snack…”, it kinda solves a problem for you right off the bat.

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How about a sandwich made with slices of mozzarella and basil leaves between think slices of eggplant and then DEEP FRIED!!!  Curtis named these Deep-Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with Basil.  Yeah, it is as good as it sounds.  And even better…

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…served with warm marinara sauce.  I think I am in heaven!  The melty cheese with the lovely flavor of basil.  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!! It was like having a mini pizza without the crust.  Well, if you like eggplant on your pizza which may now be a new thing in this house!

Make sure you slice your eggplant really thin.  Mine was a little thick so they began to limp-out on me after a few minutes.  They really would be better crispy.  But don’t skimp on the cheese.  You want all that melty flavory goodness.

I found this recipe in Curtis’ Cooking with Curtis  {page 49}and also on Take Home Chef.  

Check out more snacks on the I Heart Cooking Club 

 

This week’s CHEF of the Month is Giada De Laurentiis.  I haven’t made a lot of her dishes but the ones I have tried are delicious.  Since I was going to a party and needed a ‘finger food’ I tried her marinara sauce to go with my mini meatballs.  Good Idea!!

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    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 small onions, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    • 2 (32 ounces each) cans crushed tomatoes
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 2 cups basil, chopped
    •  I added 1 heaping tsp Italian Seasoning

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and ½ teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the chopped basil. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. Total cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

I loved the chunkiness of this marinara.  The little pieces of carrot and celery just added to the wonderful texture.  This was a definite winner. EVERYONE asked for the recipe.  Thanks, Giada.

Original Recipe 

For more dishes from Giada visit  I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

My pick this week and evidently I am in an Italian mode because my pick for Wednesdays with Donna Hay this week also had lots of oregano, basil, and tomatoes.

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I loved the ingredients in these meatballs: carrots, oats, Parm. I make meatballs often but never thought to put in a few shredded carrots. Such an easy way to get some extra veggies in. While I liked the meatballs, I thought the marinara was a little thin. The flavor was great but I like my sauces to be a little thicker.

You can find more meatballs and sauce on Eating with Ellie

You can find the recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 107.

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