Tag Archives: basil

Autumn Flowers

20 May

On this side of the world fall is arriving, and although spring is the season known for the abundance of flowers, last weekend a nice surprize was waiting for me as I walked around my home garden to take care of a few herbs, fruits and other plants growing around. Guess I don’t need to say much more than that, judge for yourself.  I bet you’ll never look at these plants the same way again.

Papaya - Carica papaya

Papaya - Carica papaya

Malagueta pepper - Capsicum frutescens

Can you believe that from this delicate flower a 100,000 Scoville units devil grows?

A variety of basil - Ocimum basilicum

A variety of basil - Ocimum basilicum

Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis

Loquat - Eriobotrya japonica

Want some information about these plants?  Click on the links below:

Papaya on FoodistaPapaya

Malagueta Pepper on FoodistaMalagueta Pepper

Basil on FoodistaBasil

Rosemary on FoodistaRosemary

Loquat on FoodistaLoquat

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Pesto alla Genovese

29 Jul

Ocimum basilicum, or basil, is a member of the mint family, or Family Lamiaceae, originated in northern Africa, but playing a major role in Italian cuisine.  It’s the central ingredient of “Pesto alla Genovese”, a mixture of first quality ingredients (basil, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino) made to a paste and typical of Liguria/Italy.

Ocimum basilicum (basil)

Ocimum basilicum (basil)

Although you can probably find industrial pesto in your neighbourhood supermarket, nothing really compares to the one you can prepare at home with fresh ingredients.  Even if you don’t have any culinary experience I believe you should try it, as I am 100 % sure you will end up with a much better final result.  If you want to know the secrets, history, recipes, etc, take a look at “Pesto Perfect“.

The best pesto I’ve tried was at “Trattoria da Maria” (Vico Testadoro 14 r), a small restaurant hidden in the dark streets of Genoa/Italy.

Trattoria da Maria - Genoa/Italy

Trattoria da Maria - Genoa/Italy

The pesto was served over a fresh, long, flat, narrow ribbon pasta, similar to tagliatelle, but typical of Genoa, the “bavette”.

Bavette con pesto alla Genovese from Trattoria da Maria (Genoa/Italy)

Bavette con pesto alla Genovese from Trattoria da Maria (Genoa/Italy)

For dessert Maria served some almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine topped with a mascarpone cheese cream.

Almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine covered with a mascarpone cheese cream

Almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine covered with a mascarpone cheese cream

The price was quite fair, around US$ 13,00.

Pesto on Foodista

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