I’m not sure if I’m the only one that gets the cleaning bug around this time of year, but it usually hits me now as opposed to the Spring when everyone else is diligently sharing spring cleaning tips. Perhaps it’s the need to keep myself busy while the kiddies are at school and ‘earn my keep’ if that makes any sense?
I have also been experimenting more with different flavours, more specifically using fresh summer herbs. I feel this tremendous need to use them all up before the frost has the last ‘bite’. Hubby looks at me puzzled and asks me if herbs are not available year round at the grocery store, which is a valid question. But I guess it’s the sense of accomplishment when you know that you took care of them through the season and now they’re making themselves to the table.
So today, I wanted to share some ways to enjoy your fresh herbs before they’re gone…
1. Make flavoured herb salt by chopping together various herbs, mixing them together along with sea salt and pulsing in a food processor. Place in the oven at 250C until dry (approx 30 mins). I then used the mortar to grind them into a finer powder. This tastes delicious on buttered bread….yumm.
2.Caprese salad (Ensalata Caprese)
1-1/3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of extra virgin oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
3-4 pieces of bocconcini or mozzarella
4 plum tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced onions
In food processor or blender, puree 1/3 cup of the basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth. Place in air tight container and refrigerate.
Slice tomato and cheese into slices. On platter, alternately layer cheese, tomato and basil leaves.
Sprinkle with onion and drizzle dressing over salad.
I love to eat this salad with some Italian bread as a sandwich. (Don’t things always sound tastier in a foreign language?)
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of grana Padano or Romano cheese
4 gloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Using a pestle and mortar, crush the basil. Add the olive oil, cheese, garlic, pine nuts, salt and crush until a paste is formed. We love homemade pesto around here, spread over bread or on fresh warm pasta…
Notice that the consistency of my pesto is very watery as I cut the amount of cheese by half to keep it more on the healthy side. In my opinion, it still tastes just as good.
You could also place the pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze for later.
Here are some other great ways to preserve your herbs
I’ll be back soon with some fall crafty ‘stuff’, see you then…xo