The posts in the last couple of days about cooking as a spiritual discipline have turned my thoughts towards the garden and what to do with the wonderful produce that is pouring out of it. My mouth is watering at the wonder of the delicious dishes that will emerge in the next few weeks. This is a wonderful way to both practice and share our creativity (though I must confess Tom is much more creative than I am in this area)
The basil is growing profusely in the garden just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen in order to make our favourite tomato, feta and basil salad. This is one that Tom has perfected over the years and so I hope that I have recorded it accurately.
Basil, Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups of several tomato varieties of all different shades (red, yellow, green, chocolate), chopped
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
Mix ingredients together and serve with an oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
However in the mean time I am making lots of pesto. Here are my two favourite recipes one for traditional Italian green basil, the other for the more anise flavoured Thai basil.
We love this on bread, pizza dough or mixed through pasta with dried tomatoes
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup spinach (or other greens)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Keeps fresh in the fridge for several weeks if you cover with olive oil or can be frozen by ladling into ice cube containers and placing in freezer until solid. then transfer to a plastic bag.
Thai Pesto with Coconut Cream
This is great with Thai curry or as a sauce in rice noodles.
- 1 cup Thai Basil
- 2 stalks Lemongrass
- 2 Lime Leaves
- 2 tablespoons Green Onion
- 1 Hot Chili, Seeds Removed
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Sugar
- ½ cup Coconut Cream
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds,Shelled Raw
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
Combine the basil, lemon grass, a couple of lime leaves, green onion, chile, a dash of salt and honey, coconut cream & oil. Add garlic & pumpkin seeds. After whirling till smooth in the food processor, let the pesto sit in the fridge for several hours before using.