Tag Archives: basil

Refreshing watermelon salad with cucumber and green olives

Watermelon salad cucumber green olives

Watermelons are a perfect treat in the summer – sweet, juicy, and if you keep it in the fridge it’s always a great cool snack to feast on. And here comes the best part: You can not only use it for sweet dishes and deserts, but also for a crisp and tangy salad! The only rule you have to follow with this is that you use a rather sourly dressing to balance the sweetness of the watermelon, so go for a dressing that uses a bit more vinegar, lemon or lime juice as you would normally go for. I used balsamic vinegar for this salad, which is always a great combination with olives and makes a nice balance for the sweet fruit. To make the dressing even a bit more savoury, I added a few drops of Worcester sauce, though you can leave this out if you don’t have some in your pantry. Or be a little adventurous and us a little Tabasco instead – simply try what you like best! Continue reading

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Hearty tomato soup with aubergines and green olives

Tomato aubergine soup with olives

Tomato soup is something that I almost exclusively eat during the summer – best made from fresh tomatoes of course. I made this one countless times last year, but just realized that I never posted the recipe! So here it is, late, late, but still. I really love the blend of the aubergine flavour with the rich flavours of ripe tomatoes in this soup, and the green olives just add the perfect spice to it. You can use fresh tomatoes – though that might be a little early in the year still – or you can just use canned ones. If using fresh ones, you can peel them if you want to, though admittedly I never do that. Once, because I am lazy, and second because I think the peel actually tastes really good. And this soup is meant to be “chunky” anyway, so some bits of tomato peel won’t be this noticeable. Concerning the seasoning, you can basically throw in any herbs that are growing in your garden – I recently went for rosemary and sage for example, but you can also just stick to the more ‘classic’ Italian flavours like basil and oregano. Just try what works best for you! Continue reading

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Asparagus risotto with fresh basil and parmesan

asparagus risotto

You need:

  • 200g green asparagus
  • 100g risotto rice
  • 1 shallot
  • 50ml white wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • a pinch of sugar

Wash the asparagus and peel the lower third of it. Cut it in bite-sized pieces and the shallot in thin rings. Meanwhile  heat one tablespoon of the butter in a big pot. Gently roast the shallot for a couple of minutes (take care that it does not get brown!). Then add the risotto rice, roast it shortly and deglaze with the white wine. Pour about one quater of the vegetable stock on top and boil until the rice has absorbed the stock, then use another quarter of the stock. Now add the asparagus and a pinch of salt, and boil again until the rice has absorbed the stock. Carry on with this unitl the rice is done (you might need a bit more or less then 300 ml – the risotto should not be to dry, but very creamy). Season with fresh basil and mix the risotto with the remaining butter and the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: This dish serves two people.

UPDATE:

asparagus risotto with green ball pepper by AnnegretThanks to Annegret for this very sweet picture of her dish – view her comment below to see how she changed the recipe! If you want to send in a picture or ideas for a dish as well, just send me an email to theunicookbook@gmail.com!

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Creamy tomato soup with gorgonzola

tomato gorgonzola soup

You need:

  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (about 400ml)
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 75g gorgonzola
  • vegetable oil
  • fresh basil
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Chop the shallot in very small cubes. Heat some oil in a pot and gently roast the shallot for a couple of minutes. Deglaze with the vegetable stock and add the tomatoes. Boil for about 5 minutes, then season to taste with basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Finally melt in the gorgonzola before serving. Serve with some fresh bread.

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Pasta with hot honey-chili sauce

Honey Chili Pasta

You need:

  • 100g pasta
  • 80ml cream
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of cream cheese
  • 20g of grated cheddar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/2 chili pepper (or less if you want it less spicy)
  • some leaves of fresh basil
  • salt

Cook the pasta with a little salt for about 9 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the cream with the cheese, the hony and the spices and boil it until the sauce starts to get creamy. Now drain the pasta just before it’s done and add it to the sauce. Cook the dish for another 2-3 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and fresh basil. Serve with a fresh salad.

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Pea risotto with fresh basil

Pea risotto with fresh basil

You need:

  • 100 g risotto rice
  • 120 g peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 50ml white wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • some leaves of fresh basil
  • salt
  • pepper

Chup the onion in small cubes and gently roast the onion in a talbespoon of butter for 2 minutes. Then add the peas and the rice and roast for another 2 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and pour about one quater of the vegetable stock on top. Boil until the rice has absorbed the stock, then use another quarter of the stock. Carry on until the rice is down. Season with fresh basil and mix the risotto with the remaining butter and the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: This serves two people, but you can easily keep it in the fridge for one to two days.

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