Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil

Such a simple salad – tomatoes with a parsley dressing, or make it a basil dressing if you prefer. Salads are such an easy way to get a few extra healthy ingredients into your body to work their magic. Even a simple salad like this one is perfect for adding tomatoes, perhaps a few greens and anything else that you care to add, to your count of the number of fruit and veg you’ve consumed today.

It is easy to whip up a salad. With over 200 salads on this site as I write, and even more scheduled, I hope I have convinced you. Most of these are very, very easy – that’s my style. A few take a bit more forethought, but again they act as a hugely flavoursome way of adding more goodness to your body.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Cherry Tomato with Soy Dressing, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.

And check out Turmeric Oil.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed explore all of our Salads. Or simple spend some time with our Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Capunti Pasta with Basil and Tomato

Capunti Pasta is a country pasta from Puglia in the Southern part of Italy – one of the several open pasta shapes that originate in that area. It is great for holding robust sauces, but also for very simple accompaniments that highlight the flavours of the pasta and other ingredients.

Today, the basil is looking beautiful, and I do love pasta with tomatoes in summer, so we brought them together for a great dish for a light summery lunch. It’s a quick and easy summer eating recipe for hot summer nights.

I first made it in February 2003 – there was a Pasta Fest in The Kitchen that month! We couldn’t get enough of quick and easy pasta dishes.

You might like to have a look at similar dishes. Try Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Lemon, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts.

All of our Pasta recipes are here, or browse our Italian recipes. Read about different pastas, including Capunti. Perhaps we have other Capunti recipes. Or take some time to browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Tomato and Basil Salad with Grilled Cheese Croutons

After a seasonal slow start to the tomato season this past Summer (poor setting of flowers all over Adelaide), as I write this in late, late Summer, they are ripening in abundance. How special that is – teeny little cherry tomatoes and little egg shaped ones, juiced, cooked, made into salads. Yum.

This salad, another from Bittman as I journey through his 101 salads, is a wonder – a toasted sandwich made into croutons, then mixed with the classic tomato and basil salad. How good is that! Combining 3 loves – basil, tomatoes and cheese toasties. I have added some green tomatoes to the salad, as I love their tang and use them whenever I can.

Are you looking for Tomato Salad inspiration? Try Tomato and Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, Tomato and Lettuce Salad with Lemon, My Mother’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Tomato Salad with Marjoram, and Tomato and Peach Salad.

Or are you looking for general Tomato recipes? Try Santorini Style Tomato Patties, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and a Light Summery Tomato and Potato Soup (from India).

Have a look at our Toastie Sandwiches. All of our Tomato Salad Recipes are here, and the complete compendium of Tomato dishes are here. Would you like to browse all of our Salads?  Or spend some time to explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Roasted Aubergine with a Garlic Sauce, Pine Nuts, Basil and Yoghurt

I have the Ottolenghi book Nopi, and have been determined to make something out of it if just to prove that a cookbook from a restaurant is not necessarily out of reach of someone who loves simple home cooking. While the recipes are a notch up from Ottolenghi’s other books, I enjoyed making this dish.

This really is a stunning dish. I mean, really very very good.

NOTE that this baked eggplant is so delicious, and could be used in a variety of ways. Bake the eggplant and top salads, use with pasta, remove the flesh and mix with yoghurt. Even in this recipe it won’t hold its shape once you begin to handle them, but don’t worry if they are a little mushier than expected. All the better to mop up with flatbreads.

If you would like other Eggplant recipes, try Eggplant in Tamarind Leaf Paste, Cheese and Eggplant Torte, Marinated Eggplant, Eggplant Steaks, and Steamed Eggplant with Spring Onions and Sesame.

Ottolenghi recipes include Creamy Baked Sweet Potato, Creamy Caramelised Belgium Endive, and Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes.

Or you might like to explore all Eggplant Recipes, and all of Ottolenghi recipes are here. Are you wanting Yoghurt recipes? Try here. Or simply browse all of our Late Summer recipes here.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

I recently came across this again, which reminded me of a conversation on Boxing day with Bill and Karen, friends of my brother, while eating Bill’s pesto. The recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and dig out the mortar and pestle. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta. I often leave out the walnuts.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Tomato and Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

You might also like our other Pesto recipes. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil

You know what? In hot weather I love a lassi, particularly a fruit lassi, for breakfast. Indian in origin, fruit lassi drinks mix yoghurt with fruit, spices and jaggery or sugar.

Today, there were peaches on the kitchen bench, strawberries in the fridge and basil in the garden. A beautiful breakfast was born in the shape of a lassi.

Why not also try our Loquat Lassi, Mango Lassi and our Black Grape Lassi? Also try Ultimate Pineapple Juice and Coconut Cooler, and Rose Strawberries with Sweetened Yoghurt Cream.

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. You can explore all of our Yoghurt recipes here. The Drinks recipes are here. Or be inspired by our Early Summer recipes.

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Indian Essentials: What is Tulasi (Tulsi)? | Indian Holy Basil

Tulsi is an amazing herb, indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. The word “tulsi” means “the incomparable plant“.  It is a bushy shrub that grows up to 2 metres in height. The plant has hairy stems with leaves that are oval and serrated of about 5cm in length – the colours ranging from light green to dark purple, depending on the variety. The plant has delicate lavender-coloured flowers, and its fruit consists of tiny rust-coloured nuts. There are two main varieties, the one with the green leaves is called Rama or Shri Tulsi and the one with the reddish leaves is called Krishna or Shyama tulsi.

Tulsi is a plant that has a whole raft of health benefits. Modern research has classified Tulsi as a herb that supports the body’s natural immune system while relieving the body’s negative reaction to stress. It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicines for thousands of years to promote and maintain wellness.

It’s referred to in Ayurveda as a rejuvenative, rasayana or restorative herb. It is said that you should eat seven Tulsi leaves a day for good health. They balance kapha and calm vata. It is said to be effective against respiratory tract diseases, coughs and colds. It helps the body adapt to environmental, physical and emotional stressors, supports normal functions, and restores balance. It is a tonic for the heart and the immune system, it  clears the mind and is also said to break up pranic congestions in the aura. The plant itself has a purifying effect on the environment.

You might like to try Tulsi Rasam and Phanta Tea with Tulsi.  Tulasi can also be spelt as Tulsi or Thulasi, or called Holy Basil. Don’t get it confused with Thai or South East Asian Holy Basil, it is an Indian Holy Basil and quite different to the Thai herb. Our Tulsi recipes are here.

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Ginger and Tulsi Tea | Tulasyadi Phanta | For when you need to rest

Phanta Tea is a beautiful, relaxing tea. Just what you need!

Tulsi tea with ginger is very good for you, especially in early spring. Ayurvedically, it is good for sinusitis, flu, hayfever, bronchitis, asthma and some fevers. (Consult your Ayurvedic practictioner.) Phanta is a hot infusion in Ayurveda.

It is gentle and calming, reducing Vata and Kapha, but raising Pitta. Drink it at a time that you can relax and take some bed rest. It is best to avoid cold for a couple of hours after drinking.

Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India, with a taste somewhere between mint and basil. You can often buy Tulsi tea in organic and health shops. If I can’t find Tulsi, I make this tea with ordinary basil and it still works wonders.

You can read more about the extraordinary healthy properties of Tulasi here.  Tulasi can also be spelt as Tulsi or Thulasi, or called Holy Basil. Don’t get it confused with Thai or Sth East Asian Holy Basil, it is an Indian Holy Basil and quite different to the Thai herb. You can see another version of Tulasyadi Phanta, and all of our our Tulsi recipes here.

Similar teas include Liquorice Ginger Chai, Spring Chai, Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai, Longan and Ginger Tea, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Tea.

Our Tulasi recipes are here, and our Ayurveda recipes here. You might like to browse our other Teas as well. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Pesto in many forms

Pesto is one of those essentials, a perennial item in the fridge. Play with it to vary textures and tastes.

Pesto is one of those essentials, a perennial item in the fridge. Learn to play with it to vary textures and tastes. The recipe for pesto can be generalised to other herbs, for example, chervil and lemon balm make quite extravagant pesti. Coriander Pesto is good. Some may say that such recipes are not pesto, but keep in mind that parsley and marjoram have been used in place of basil for a long time in Italy. In Germany, a Green Sauce is made in similar fashion to pesto from a mixture of 7 herbs.

It is worth learning to make pesto by hand with a  mortar and pestle – the difference is substantial. Once you’ve made it this way you will never ever go back.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Basil and Basil Types

Did you know that there are hundreds of types of Basil?

 Basil is a fragrant herb with around 60 different types and a subtle flavour (when used correctly) that is used in salads, Pilafs, Sauces and Purees such as Pistou and Pesto, and Pickles throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, India and SE Asia.

You might like to try our recipes that use Basil – you can find them here. Continue reading “Basil and Basil Types”