Freeze it for the future…


Let’s continue our basil saga and add to our recipe book…

Frozen basil for cooking

When I’ve started growing basil on my window seal, I didn’t expect it to go so well that I’ll have to look into several ways of using basil as well as storing some for rainy days.

After trying basil infused olive oil and basil pesto…the next best thing is to prepare basil ready to use for cooking and then freeze it so it keeps for longer.

This is the simplest way of storing basil and completely ready to be used.

Ingredients: 2 cups basil leaves, 4 tbs olive oil. Whizz it all together until the leaves are finely chopped (you might have to add a bit more olive oil if the mixture doesn’t look smooth enough).

I’ve used one of my trays for ice cubes, heart shaped…hahaha, it doesn’t really matter what you use to freeze them as long they are frozen in the shape/quantity you would use them for cooking.

I like a light flavour, when I am cooking so I’ve only filled 1/2 of each heart cube. I’ve left them to freeze for two days after which I’ve transfer them into a freezing bag to store for longer in the freezer.

When cooking, I would just add them directly frozen depending on the dish. I mostly use basil in tomato based dishes, but it can be added to so many other recipes.

Hope you’ve find this useful, if you ever have too much basil on your hand.

Your Girl with their Apron,

Julia

Just another pesto…


Following from my last post about the basil infused olive oil…happy to report the basil saga continues with …you’ve guessed it, pesto.

I absolutely love to grow basil and it feels amazing to cook with it, smell the beautiful green leaves…

Besides using fresh leaves in cooking, I have recently made my first basil infused olive oil, which is a game changer when it comes to certain dishes, especially tomato sauce.

Today, I want to share with you the next best thing you can make with basil and that is pesto.

I absolutely love pesto and so far we have only made kale pesto which is delicious with pasta.

Basil pesto with pasta

Ingredients: 2 handfuls of washed basil leaves, 30g pine nuts, 20g walnuts, 40g Parmesan, 100ml olive oil, 1 clove garlic. Cook the pine nuts until golden, then add them to the remaining ingredients using a food processor. Whizz until smooth, then season to taste, I only add a sprinkle of salt.

The above will get you enough for 2 servings of pasta. You can always double the quantities to have pesto for later, always store in the fridge until used.

I always fry the pesto, just a bit before coating the pasta and serving straight away, but that is a personal preference, you do not need to do it, but it does elevate the taste of the dish.

Once all ingredients are mixed, you should get a a smooth like texture, you might need to add more olive oil as you mix, depending on the rest of the ingredients. The secret is, bigger the quantity, easier the mix.

Basil Pesto

Just another pesto…but so delicious.

Your Girl with the Apron,

Julia

Sour but so sweet


This year has been another great summer for our sour cherry tree, so it was a no brainier that we’ll do some jam…and oh, what jam we did!

Homemade sour cherry jam

This is hands down, the best so far…and yes, it does look like strawberry or raspberry jam, hahaha, but it’s not.

My secret ingredient is chia seeds, super healthy and your best friend if you want to use less sugar but you want the thick texture.

Ingredients: 2kg pitted sour cherries, 1kg caster sugar, the juice of 2 lemons. Bring to boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer slowly until it thickens, but not all the way. Make sure you do stir using a wooden spoon and the heat is always on low. Once it starts thickening and the juice has reduced at least 3/4, you can smash the fruit using a fork or a potato smasher.

Once you are happy with the texture, I’ve let it simmer for about 2 hours, you can turn the heat off and add 4 tbs of chia seeds. Stir and leave to cool half way, so not completely cold, before you store in jars.

I usually place the jars on a tray with greaseproof paper in the oven for about 10 minutes, this will disinfect the jars and kill any bacteria. Once the jam is stored and still warm, cover the jars with a kitchen towel and leave it until they cool down completely. Once a jar is opened, store it in the fridge until consumed.

I would love to see what other recipes you guys use for homemade jam. This has worked for me both times and the jam is absolutely delicious.

If you want to reduce the sugar, you will need to increase the quantity of the chia seeds to obtain the thick texture. As I have used the sour cherries, sugar was needed for a sweater taste, but for sweet cherries I would definitely use around 800g sugar and 6 tbs of chia seeds.

Let me know if you ever try the recipe.

Your Girl with the Apron,

Julia