One of the greatest things of living on a mediterrean island is the fresh herbs which are not only much much cheaper than at home in Austria, but also so much richer in flavor & smell! Last week I got a huge bunch of super fresh basil as well as rucola from one of my favorite veggie shops in Sliema, George’s. After doing some salads and juices I was afraid of not using up the good stuff in time. So the idea for pesto was born!
Now that I finally made my own pesto myself for the first time I am actually surprised I’ve never done it before?! It’s so easy and quick, and most important SOOOOOOO unbelievebly YUMMY!!!
Check it out yourself next time you get the chance to get a big bunch of one or the other, or both.
All you need:
- Big bunch of basil/ rucola
- 1-2 cloves of garlic depening on your taste
- Your best olive oil extra vergine
- Sea salt, fresh pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan
- 1-2 hands full of nuts (I took pine nuts for the basil pesto and cashew nuts for the rucola pesto so they get a different flavor)
- Ev. sqeeze of lemon
What to do:
Carefully clean the basil/rucola, wash and dry it. I love to use my salad spinner for this to ensure it’s really dry. Grate some fresh parmeggiano, peel and crush the garlic. Roast the nuts. Start processing the leaves and the garlic, later add the nuts, only at the end add oil slowly until you like the texture. Take of the processor. Mix the paresan carfully until you’re perfectly happy with the consistency, season to tase with salt, pepper (ev. chili if you like it hot) and ev. a sqeeeze of lemon juice. Put it in a jar, keep it in the refrigerator and use within a week.
Both pestos have a very particular intense flavor. You can use them as a spread, as a dip, in sandwiches, in salad dressings or, as we did it, with barbequed stuff e.g. grilled chicken, grilled halloumi cheese or vegetables. Ah yes, and pasta – but that’s something I’m hardly ever having on these hot summer days!
ENJOY : )
Riding on my buckwheat wave I made my second batch within a week! This time I must say I liked it even better than the first one… if you try them both, let me know which one you prefer… but this time the sweet of the dried currents and the bite of the almond flakes make eating this light salad even more fun! The greatest thing is not only that all ingredients boast of health and flavour, but also that if you have the buckwheat ready prepared this meal is made upso fast, you don’t even need 10min, promised!
What you need:
- 1 cup of buckwheat (I like to do this in the morning when I get my morning wheat grass to start the day)
- Water for soaking
- Half of a pepper (I think in this one the orange is perfect in the color mix)
- A chunk of red cabbage
- A small bowl of green peas
- Half of a feta cheese (I like sheep or goat as I try to reduce cow milk as much as I can)
- 1 spring onion
- A handful of dried currants
- A handful of almond flakes
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt & pepper (freshly ground)
What to do:
Put the buchkwheat in a bowl and cover it with water, let it soak for 2hours or a bit more. Drain the rest of the water. Chop the vegetables and feta cheese. Mix with the buckwheat, add currents and almond flakes. Dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
Don’t let yourself confuse by the name of buckwheat.. It doesn’t have anything to do with ordinary wheat and is even gluten free and a great alternative to the usual couscous or pasta salad which are most popular for summer salads for a picnic or a side for a BBQ! In addition to that it’s also a great source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium – so not only yummy but also worth a try from a healthy point of view.
Instead of the ordinary way to cook it my and my friend Michelle have recently been experimenting with soaking grains. It gives the buckwheat a nicer bite and is super easy to prepare e.g. soak it in the morning when you want to use it for lunch or dinner. By the time you need it it’s gonna be nice and soft, cooled to a perfect temperature and ready for further use. You can now mix it with any kind of vegetables, cheeses, nuts and fruit and give it various flavors to your taste.
My way to prepare it was a very simple and yet delicious one, also it’s very fresh and therefore perfect for a hot summer day.
What you need:
- 1 small packet of buckwheat (soaked)
- 2 hands full of grapes, de-seeded and halved
- Half a packet of feta cheese
- Some walnuts
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Sea salt, fresh pepper
- Olive oil & lemon juice
What do do:
To soak the buckwheat first rinse it and then put it in a bowl and cover with water, put a plate on top and let it stand for a couple of hours. For the salad drain the rest of the water and mix buckwheat with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Break walnut halves into pieces. Chop grapes and feta, tear basil leaves and add them to the buckwheat. Toss gently.