Updated: May 26
You'll be amazed by how quick and simple these recipes are and so much more delicious than shop bought.
We are all so used to being able to pick everything up from a supermarket that many of us don’t even consider making some things from scratch.
When we think about a jar of pesto for example, growing basil, use of water, people and machinery to pick it, adding of ingredients which can include poorer quality ingredients, water for jars, bottling, packing, distribution,
There are numerous benefits of doing this:
- Reducing food-miles and supply chains processing
- Knowing the ingredients – reducing salt and sugar content
- Being able to adapt recipes to intolerances
- Making as much or as little as you want
I loooove pesto. Since the first time I made it fresh, I have never looked back as a shop bought jar is incomparable.
The difference is huge and no matter how many times I make it, I am always so impressed by how quick and easy it is. Like, really, really easy!
While it's really easy to grow them from seed I buy a plant from the supermarket which i find keeps regrowing for at least 6 months.
60g fresh basil
2 cloves of garlic
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons pine nuts
30g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 Mix the basil and pine nuts in a food processor. Add the garlic and cheese: Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Stream in the olive oil: While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste
What is even better is that you can substitute pine nuts with almonds or walnuts and instead of basil, you can use a range of things from spinach, salad leaves or even peas and you don't even need to stick with parmesan -seriously, pesto is the best!!
Another great thing to make is hummus, it's a great dip, I sometimes add it to salads and on the side of a couscous dish.
2 tsp tahini
400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration)
21garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp crushed sea salt
3 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs. When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.
Pickled red cabbage
Cabbage is great for you and pickled cabbage is great to add to a meal or mix in with salad.
500g red cabbage, finely shredded
140g coarse sea salt
500ml cider vinegar
200ml red wine
2 tsp black peppercorn
2 tbsp yellow mustard seed
Place the shredded cabbage in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 2-3 hours, then drain and wash away the salt. Pay dry with a clean tea towel.
Put the vinegar, wine, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves into a big, wide saucepan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Set aside for 10 mins to infuse. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug or bowl, and discard the peppercorns and bay leaves. Put the cabbage and mustard seeds into a big bowl, and then pour the strained liquid over. Transfer the cabbage and pickling liquid into sterilised jars and seal. Will last for a month in the fridge.
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons red- or white-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 to 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together the shallots, vinegar, and fine sea salt in a small bowl. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, then add the oil in a very slow stream, whisking constantly. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.