All posts tagged: basil

Traditional Italian Meatballs

I would love to say this these aren’t your Nonnas meatballs, but that is exactly what these are! Delicious ground beef and ground pork come together (with a few other key Italian ingredients) to make the perfect and most comforting meatball recipe you have ever had! I like to make these meatballs whenever I am missing home. I adore that homey feeling when there is a big pot of meatballs bubbling away on the stove all Sunday, with wafts of tomato and garlic and basil travelling though the home and warming your home and heart as it goes. I think that many people of Italian decent know what I’m talking about here… it’s all about family and tradition and COMFORT (perfect for the fall months)! Now each family recipe for meatballs is unique. Some family recipes use a combination of beef and pork, some use all beef, and some use beef, pork and veal. Others add Parmesan or basil or parsley or chili flakes to their meatballs. Some add milk to the meatballs instead of …

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

When you see fresh red bell peppers go on sale at the market or grocery store, it’s a sign from the Food Gods that you need to make this delicious Roasted Red Pepper Soup. Typically, red bell peppers are the most expensive out of all the varieties of bell peppers. That’s because they are simply the best! They’re sweet, crunchy and refreshing and continue to be a crowd favourite time and time again. Fresh vine tomatoes from Windset Farms, BC-grown red bell peppers from The Root Cellar and basil from my balcony all go into this fabulous summer soup! While people may think that red bell peppers are completely different than green bell peppers, brace yourselves because I’m about to blow your mind: red bell peppers are really green bell peppers that have been fully ripened on the vine before they are harvested! Say WHATT?! Yes, it’s true! Similarly, yellow and orange bell peppers also start out as green bell peppers. Yellow bell peppers are harvested earlier on in the peppers maturity phase and orange …

Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Basil + tomatoes = the best summer combination. Even though summer is winding down, you can still celebrate these two delicious summer foods for just a while longer. For the next few weeks, the basil will still be abundant and delicious and the tomatoes will be juicy and flavourful. By the end of September, these will all be gone until next summer. Thank goodness we are able to preserve these flavours well into the winter by making some pantry staples like tomato sauce, oven-fried tomatoes, and basil pesto. On this last long weekend of summer, I really want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the basil and tomatoes I have on hand (and maybe a drink or two :P). And what better way to do this by making my Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes! I picked up some fresh, local basil and cherry tomatoes (along with some other goodies) at the Burnaby Farmers Market today specifically for this recipe.  I love the rainbow cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they are super sweet …

Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi

With fall being just around the corner, our outdoor BBQ and grilling days are numbered. I know when December and January rolls around, I am really going to be missing hanging out on the patio and eating grilled chicken, burgers and grilled veggies. So in these last few weeks of prime BBQ and grilling season, indulge in your favourite grilled foods and mix it up with this recipe for Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi. Halloumi is a very firm cheese that originated on the island of Cyprus. It is typically made with a combo of sheep and goat milk (or even cow milk), salt and dried mint. Once made, the cheese sits in brine and gets super flavourful and firm. Now when I say that it is a firm cheese, I mean it. This cheese is so firm that you can grill it, pan fry it, do whatever you want to it over a heat source and it will not melt. It’s kind of magical actually. When it is cooked, it becomes soft and creamy. …

Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend and I hope the Sunday Scaries (i.e. fear of going back to work or school tomorrow) haven’t set in yet! To soothe your pain, or to seamlessly transition you from the weekend to Monday, do I ever have a meal for you: Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta. It’s like summer heaven on a plate! Whenever I think of summer herbs, I always think of basil. It’s large green lemony/liquorice leaves grow abundantly in the summer and has a fresh clean and light taste that everyone loves. It goes great with chicken, tossed right into raw salads, and of course pasta (the Italians know what’s up). I decided to give my original recipe for Homemade Gnocchi a great summer spin by adding basil to it. I simply puréed the basil in a food processor with a little bit of olive oil and salt and added the paste to my gnocchi dough. The tedious but fun process of making Gnocchi in three steps: 1) roll …