Tag Archives: basil

Secret Stuffed Potatoes

The secret to these is the hidden zucchini that even the fussiest of children will not find as long as they like pesto!

I try to plan ahead for these and bake the potatoes the day before if I have the oven on.

Makes 16.

Ingredients

8 small potatoes, around 100g each, baked

300g zucchini plus two teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons pesto

A little grated cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Grate the zucchini and sprinkle with the salt, mixing a little with your hand, set aside in a sieve over a bowl for ten minutes.

Take a potato and cut in half, use a spoon to scoop the insides out and set aside. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Now, roughly chop up the potato to make a mash, stir through the pesto.

Rinse the zucchini under fresh water and then squeeze all of the moisture out with your hands.

Add the zucchini to the potato mash and mix well.

Spoon the zucchini mix into the potato skins and place on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle over the cheese and pop into the oven.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Blue Cheese

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These are great way to use up a small piece of cheese and make it the star of a dish. I have used a little Gorgonzola here but feel free to use what ever you have in the fridge.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushrooms

100g sundried tomatoes, chopped with scissors

10mls oil from the sundried tomatoes

80g red onion, finely diced

4 large basil leaves, chopped roughly

30g blue cheese

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms.

In a bowl combine the chopped tomatoes, oil from the jar, finely diced red onion and basil.

Spoon into the mushrooms.

Divide the cheese into four and crumble  over each mushroom.

Season well.

Bake for 15mins.

Easy Roast Turkey with Pesto and Prosciutto

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One of the best ways to cook turkey I think!

By opening up the breast you are creating a larger surface area to flavour with the pesto and prosciutto, and it really is easy to tie back up but, a spare pair of hands can be helpful!

As the meat cooks, wonderful juices with sediment will form on the base of the pan, use these to then baste the meat, they will give it a fantastic flavour.

I use my home made pesto, recipe in the blog, as I always have a few jars in the fridge.

Leftovers are super in sandwiches and salads.

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

2kg turkey breast

170g basil pesto

12 slices prosciutto

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180degrees Centigrade.

Take the turkey breast and lay it on your chopping board.

Take a very sharp knife and cut the flesh, just above the skin, as if it were a book being opened. Don’t cut it all the way through.

Now, cut again, though the lower thick section,  to create a third page, the breast should now be in one long thin piece.

Spread the pesto over the inside and then cover with prosciutto.

Roll the turkey so the skin is uppermost.

Take long pieces of string and tie lengthwise at 1cm intervals. Rub the skin with the olive oil.

Place in an oven proof dish and bake for 45 mins, remove from the oven and baste, roast for a further 30 mins, basting regularly.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, cover lightly with tin foil and allow to rest for 30mins.

Remove the string and carve into thick slices.

 

 

Spaghetti Frittata with Garlic Butter

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Apologies, the boys named this one!

If I’m cooking pasta I always cook a little extra for salads and this dish if there is enough. It is the ultimate leftovers reinvented dish and really is simple to throw together.

My garlic butter is made in bulk and then frozen in 50g portions, 200g butter, 7 crushed cloves of garlic and a little salt and pepper. I package the portions in plastic wrap and form the butter into cylindrical shapes, easier to slice for garlic bread and steaks once it has defrosted.

Serves 4-6 depending on appetites.

Ingredients

50g garlic butter

600g cooked spaghetti

4 Roma tomatoes, cored and deseeded

6 medium basil leaves, torn

4 eggs, beaten

60mls sour cream

50g Parmesan, finely grated

Method

Preheat the grill on high.

In a large frying pan, heat the garlic butter.

As soon as it has melted, add the spaghetti and toss well in the butter.

Add the tomatoes and basil, keep tossing until the tomato is beginning to release its juice.

Combine the eggs and sour cream, whisk to mix.

Pour the egg over the spaghetti, mix a little to ensure all of the spaghetti has some egg mixture over it.

Cook, over a medium heat for 3-5 mins until the base is going golden.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan and then slide under the grill.

Bake for 3-5 mins until golden on top.

Allow to cool a little in the pan.

Gently slide out of the pan and onto a chopping board, use a sharp knife to cut wedges.

 

Roast Tomato and Paprika Pasta Sauce with Garlic and Basil

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The tomatoes don’t need to be pretty, I often use seconds, their flavour is fab and I just cut off any nasty bits!

If you have lots of tomatoes, consider roasting them all, making the sauce and then freezing it in zip lock bags, labelled of course, until you need a fast dinner. Alternatively, sterilise jars and lids, bring the sauce up to the boil in a pan and then pour, carefully, into the jars and seal.

If you don’t have fresh  paprika, don’t worry, capsicum works too or just do tomato sauce.

Makes 1-1.2 litres of sauce. 200mls will cover 400g dried pasta.

Ingredients

2kg ripe tomatoes, halved and cores removed

2 red paprika, halved, cored and cut into 5cm pieces

3 cloves garlic, sliced

a few basil leaves

1 tablespoon caster sugar

salt and pepper

olive oil to drizzle

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment, coming up the sides to catch any juice.

Place the tomatoes on the sheets, cut side up.

Top the tomatoes with a slice of garlic and a piece of basil leaf.

Add the paprika to the tray, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.

Add the parsley to the tray.

Drizzle with a little olive oil, just a drop or two on each tomato half.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pop in the oven and roast for one and a half hours.

Allow to cool completely.

Scrape everything on the trays into the food processor and process until smooth.

Add balsamic vinegar and sugar, process again.

Have a taste, you may need more sugar and more salt or pepper.

Keep some sauce aside for dinner tonight and bag or jar the rest.

Serve mixed through cooked pasta and top with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Basil Pesto

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The quickest meal in a family of five often involves pasta for 4 and a Gluten Free option for one.

I always have jars of pesto in the fridge  not just for pasta, spooned into a baked potato, smeared on to fish and chicken, used as a dip and there’s alway potato gnocchi!

Possibly the best reason for making this is it’s fridge life……. A year lurking, hopefully labelled, and it will still be good to go!

Leftover pasta? Great for school lunch boxes cold or hot or, stir through some drained, tinned beans, butter beans  work well, and you have another meal happening!

Makes 3 x 375g jars. One jar covers 500g dry pasta which serves 4-6 depending on appetite!

Ingredients

180g basil leaves

500mls olive oil, plus extra for sealing

200g pine nuts

8 cloves garlic, crushed

250g Parmesan, finely grated

salt and pepper

Method

Process the basil, oil, nuts, garlic, Parmesan and seasoning.

I process till it is still a little lumpy, but  process it to the way you like!

Check the seasoning, I add quite a bit of freshly ground pepper, not so much salt as the cheese adds salt.

Spoon into clean jars and pour some oil over the top to seal.

Put a tight fitting lid on, label and stick at the back of the fridge.