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A description of life in a village in the Andalusian mountains

Village life in the Andalusian mountains

A surplus of basil? Make pesto, (and chutney up those tomatoes), ideas and recipes.
24 September 2017 @ 11:53

The season of mellow fruitfulness is upon us and mu courtyard is filled with the aroma of basil. The plant itself has begun to go to seed and is looking straggly. But it would be a culinary crime to just compost it when making pesto is so easy.

The ingredients are:

olive oil
pine nuts
chopped garlic
basil leaves, washed
Parmesan/gran padano (or even the pasta polvo they sell here in Spain as mock Parmesan, it does the trick)
salt

Pick all the nice green leaves off the basil and wash. In the bottom of a tallish bowl (I find a cafetiere glass inner ideal) put in a huge glug of olive oil, add wet washed basil leaves, put pine nuts on top, chopped garlic, another glug of olive oil and then immediately blitz with a stick blender (you want the second layer of oil to still be on the top so that it mixes easily). Give it a quick stir to detect any unblitzed leaves, add salt, the Parmesan/padano/polvo. Place in airtight container and use within four to five days. (This freezes well if you have not added the cheese). I have not given quantities because it all depends on how much basil you have, and even when exactly following pesto recipes the outcome is always different, so experiment.

Glut of tomatoes?

The simplest recipe is soup, literally lightly fry a chopped onion in olive oil, add chopped garlic , keep frying (but do not brown, the dark flecks with make the soup unattractive), add tomatoes roughly chopped and unskinned. Add stock cube. Stir the pan (no need to add water) and on a very low heat cook for forty minutes stirring occasionally. Blitz until a thick soup consistency. They joy is that the colour is exactly that of Heinz tomato soup! It is a bright gutsy orange and sweet and luscious.

Another non recipe, just a way of making it, is to pruduce a chutney from your tomatoes.

In a large pan fry up chopped onions, garlic, (and apple, ginger, nfigs, or anything else to hand, go wild). Add the tomatoes and a couple of chillies, the dried ones are fine, the cook down until almost all the water has left the pan, a large panful can simmer down to just two jars of chutney!. Towards the end of the cooking add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or any other spices you think will add to it, plus salt to taste. Then bottle up in sterile jars. This will be best eaten at Christmas, but rarely does my chutney last more than a week, so that date is an optimistic stab in the dark

 



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2 Comments


anthomo16 said:
30 September 2017 @ 09:50

Thank you I have a basil plant in a trough out back and now will try the pesto I was just about to throw out a load of plum tomatoes just not used but again will try the chutney.
Thank you again for these recipes.


Nikki said:
28 October 2018 @ 15:46

Brilliant! Funny and very informative..thank you!


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