Saturday, April 3, 2010


It's slightly awe inspiring how many eggs I'm going through now that I'm trying to eat healthy. I can't keep them in the fridge, and I used to watch them go bad on a regular basis!

My attempts at improving my diet are going really, really well. I've got 3 jars of pickles all set up, my garden planted, my spinach just beginning to pop out of their shells. I'm normally not a huge fan of spinach, and it's not a food I remember my parents regularly shelling out when I was a kid.

But.. I find I really like baby spinach with a bit of salad dressing, and I'm sure it'll taste great braised a little bit. They're growing so well, and I'm so proud of them. The only difficulty is keeping the kitties away from what looks like a litter box!
The basil.. Oh the basil. One of my favorite fresh herbs to cook with, and one of my greatest growing defeats. Turns out it's pretty delicate, and couldn't handle how cold the nights got here in Toronto last summer. As soon as I moved the plant indoors however, it did just fine. Never quite exploded like the mind though.

I bought this plant for 2 dollars yesterday from a little greenhouse down the street, and as usual, I'm in love. Fresh basil has a flavor that really pops out of a dish, and as such goes great with flavors like tomatoes, cinnamon, or even just the leaves tossed into a garden salad. (planted my garden mixed greens yesterday.. Can't wait for them to grow!) The stalks shouldn't be wasted, stir fry them into any dish for a nice basil flavour with a crunch.

Basil is a delicate herb, as I've already mentioned. The one I'm growing is a "Sweet Basil, or Ocimum basilicum, which lends itself beautifully to pasta, salads, or pesto. This is the variety most of us recognize from the grocery. The flavor is so much more intense if you raise it for yourself, the ones the supermarket raises are never really exposed to the elements, and don't develop the same flavor. Mine grows quite well in pots, and it LOVES some heat. The nights NEED to be above 13C, or the plant will suffer.

Don't cook it for very long! Or the flavor will be ruined! The flowers have a lovely scent as well, and should be planted next to tomatoes to provide their neighbor with some aphid protection.

My personal favorite basil recipe is a Jamie Oliver creation, and it just never tastes the same unless made in summer with fresh basil.

Slice up a red onion, and saute it with a bit of olive oil, a tsp of cinnamon, and the couple stalks of basil, with the leaves set aside for later.

When the red onion smells wonderfully sweet and have gone transparent, add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tuna (if you can, used the tuna that's packed in oil)

You're done! Let that simmer for about 20 min to develop the flavors while you make your pasta of choice. Just before serving, sprinkle the reserved basil leaves on top of the dish.

Magnific. Best way to enjoy basil.


ROY said...

hI Gecika, i found your blog by accident, i was looking for info on the Jewerly Methods course at GB ,How do you like the program, and do you recommend taking this 2 yr program, im taking this or heating course, send me an e-mail

Thanks and enjoy your blog, interesting info!

Post a Comment