Tag Archives: fresh basil

1 – 2 – PESTO!!!

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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.

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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 : )

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Summer buckwheat salad with grapes, walnuts & feta cheese.

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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.

buckwheat salad with grapes, walnuts & feta

What you need:
(Serving 4)

  • 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.

Buon appetito!!