One of the most famous Italian sauces is undoubtedly pesto alla genovese, a sauce made by smashing together 5 ingredients: fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese (a mix of parmigiano regiano and pecorino romano). The traditional way of making this amazing sauce requires a mortar and a pestle, its name comes from the Italian verb pestare (= to beat). Pesto alla genovese has a great taste, it’s definitely not shy nor delicate, it has lots of bold flavors which complement each other beautifully.
⦁ 3 Tbsp olive oil (45ml)
⦁ 25g basil leaves
⦁ 1 garlic clove
⦁ 1 Tbsp pine nuts (10g)
⦁ 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (5g)
⦁ 1/4 tsp salt
1. Wash the basil in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
2. In the mortar, crush the clove of garlic with about 1/4 tsp of salt until the garlic has softened.
3. Begin adding basil leaves about 1/4 of the quantity a time.
4. Add the oil one teaspoon at a time, stirring continuously.
5. Add the pine nuts and crush them as well.
6. Add the nutritional yeast and mix until combined.
7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Refrigerated, it will keep up to one week.
Sea buckthorn berries, those precious orange gems are considered to be a super fruit. They are an excellent source of vitamins C, A, K and B complex and they are also packed with amino acids, essential fatty acids, minerals and oligoelemenets. Sea buckthorn berries have antibiotic, anti-inflamatory and immunostimulant properties.
When they are in season, my favorite ways to include them in my diet are smoothies and apple – sea buckthorn pies. But since I want to benefit from their properties all year round, I like to preserve them in vinegar (I usually use apple cider vinegar), which I use to season various dishes, from simple salads to hummus, pasta dishes or vegetable stews. This way I get to enjoy both its pleasant flavor and its healing properties.
- 5% aplle cider vinegar
- 100 – 150g sea buckthorn berries
- Place the sea buckthorn berries in a large bowl and make sure to pick only the healthy berries. Carefully rinse them in cold water 3 – 4 times and leave them to drain in a colander.
- Place them on a paper-lined plate and let them dry for 2 – 3 for hours.
- Preheat the oven at 180C / 350 F (gas mark 4). When the berries look dry, sterilize the jar.
- If your jar has a rubber seal, remove it. Clean the jar in hot soapy water and rinse it. While the jar is still wet, place it on a tray and sterilize it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove the tray from the oven and leave it aside to cool down.
- Sterilize the rubber seal as well by boiling it in a saucepan for 1 – 2 minutes. Carefully remove it from the boiling water and place it on a towel.
- When the jar is cool enough to handle, attach the rubber seal. Place the berries in the jar.
- Heat the vinegar just below the boiling point and let it cool down for a few minutes. Pour the vinegar in the jar and seal the jar.
- Leave the vinegar to infuse it in a dark cupboad (or on a shelf in your pantry) for 3 – 4 weeks.
Tahini is a delicious Middle Eastern sesame spread. It has a velvety smooth texture and a lovely nutty flavor. Tahini can be found in the ethnic department of almost every large grocery store but it can also be made at home, from scratch. It’s so easy to make and it’s significantly less expensive than the store-bought version. Tahini is made from only 3 ingredients: sesame seeds, vegetable oil and salt. The process is very simple: the sesame seeds are lightly toasted just until they turn golden and fragrant, and after that they are ground using a food processor (or you can use a mortar, if you’re into extreme sports). The addition of the oil turns the fragrant sesame crumbs into a golden silky spread.
I must confess that I enjoy tahini almost daily. I use it to prepare hummus and baba ganoush, I use it to make salad dressings, I pour it over steamed veggies, rice or pasta or I simply enjoy it with homemade bread, with lime, chili flakes and chives sprinkled on top. Tahini brings flavor to many dishes but it also brings a high amount of nutrients – tahini is high in protein, unsaturated fats, calcium and vit B complex). Tahini is simply divine, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to discover it yet, I strongly advise you to whip up a batch! Continue reading Homemade Tahini
Sweet and sour chili jam is an amazing thing! It’s a vegan sauce, made from only four budget-friendly ingredients (chili, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and garlic). This sauce has the capacity to elevate each and every single dish you can think of, it goes divine with veggies, dairy and meat products, pasta, rice, omelets, burgers or sandwiches. I love chili sauce so much that I’d be even tempted to pair it with tarts and cakes, the only thing that discourages me a tiny bit is the garlic in its composition.
Chili sauce has such a lovely vibrant color. It’s so creamy and dense. It is hot and spicy, fragrant and so flavorful. It is also extremely easy to make at it lasts in the refrigerator up to 2 months. Theoretically. Practically, the jar will be empty in 2 or 3 weeks. I really hope you’ll give it a try! Continue reading Sweet Chili Jam