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Pesto Pasta – A Primer August 2, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Fun Stuff.
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The Magic of Basil

The Magic of Basil

Get ready; it’s time for one of summer’s taste treats.  Although good quality basil is available in the Southern states for most of the year, those of us in the North have to wait until this time of year to enjoy the varieties of religious experience that come from this wonderful herb. If you grow your own, now is when it takes off. Farm stands and farmers markets have it in abundance.

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Salmon and Pesto August 8, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Fish Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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Basil – Part III August 3, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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Let’s get some new ideas on how to use basil and pesto sauce.  To get the dendrons firing, here are some slightly bizarre, but exciting appetizer ideas that the Society loves.

Walnuts with Pesto Sauce:

Walnuts with Pesto Sauce

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Basil – Part II August 2, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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My daughter-in-law called the other day and asked how to cut basil without ruining the plant.  It’s very easy.  Trace a stem downward and you will find new little shoots coming out at various points along the stem as shown in the photo.  Cut just above these new shoots.  You can harvest leaves and, at the same time,  stimulate the plant to produce more.

As we have said before, basil has a growth explosion in mid-summer and the plant tries to produce a spike-shaped flower at the end of each stem.  You can’t let that process start or the basil will become very bitter.   The basil must not complete its sexual cycle – it must remain celibate and you need to help by harvesting and making pesto sauce.  By the way, never buy basil if you can see these flower heads.

If you plant basil, never do more than three or four plants – that’s about all you will be able to handle.  They need full sun and they will produce an abundance of riches.  At the end of the summer, I always make a few batches to freeze.  Use the recipe in a previous post “Summer Pesto Extravaganza”, but don’t add the cheese.  You can do that when you are ready to use the sauce.  This makes a great treat in the cold of winter.  We have always served pesto on thin slices of baguette during the Holidays.


Summer Pesto Extravaganza August 1, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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Across most of the U.S. and Europe, this is the season for basil, one of the herbs most revered by the Bravado Cooking Society.  All Bravado chefs grow their own basil – it is a requirement.  If you don’t grow your own, promise yourself that you will begin to do so next year.  You can add fresh basil to almost any salad or even put it on a sandwich like lettuce.  But, the best use, by far, is in pesto sauce.

Here’s how you make this great sauce (based on the recipe in “Joy of Cooking”): (more…)

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