It’s New Moon in July. It stirs my blood. Even as cold winter clouds hang low, and the midday temperature outside battles to lift from the low teens, I feel eager and excited: Spring is coming. Exactly 50 days to 1 September. And even then……
Garlic everywhere and garlic in everything! We’re a household that loves to cook with garlic, and naturally, I also have a few special garlic medicines ready to dispense for a variety of ailments.
Garlic, Allium sativum, is truly an amazing ingredient to always have on hand in your culinary and medicinal pantries! Used worldwide in an astounding array of cuisine, this pungent herb has a very long history as a folk medicine, and is, among other things, a very strong anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, tonic, stimulant, stomachic and antispasmodic agent.
I include garlic in my Tomato Tea for Sinus Congestion, and it is an important ingredient in the Cider Tonic I made recently. Garlic in Honey is a potent remedy for colds and flu, or if you can stomach it, a raw clove a day is sure to keep the doctor away.
Here is one of my favourite ways to make garlic – slow roasted to a sweet and delicious condiment. I serve this with roast Mediteranean vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant, or with sundried tomatoes and olives on Bruchetta. You could also enjoy it with a great cut of steak too! Or… when no one is looking, just slip a clove straight into your mouth. Mmmm!
The first time I made chimichurri was out of necessity – I had harvested handfuls of gorgeous Italian parsley, and after drying some, freezing some, and making a lot into parsley pesto, I had to do something else with what was leftover. A quick search in some recipe books I had, introduced me to a new favourite – chimichurri! Isn’t even the name just delicious to say!?
Basically, it is a raw sauce with loads of parsley, some garlic, oregnao, red pepper (chilli), olive oil and red wine vinegar. It does absolute wonders for grilled meat – and my favourite is to have it with steak. Honestly, I love steak for just being steak, and a good steak is great on its own, but chimichurri makes it even better. I promise. Even my husband who is not a great fan of parsley, loves this!
There’s many variations out there of this uncooked sauce, with every chef, and wannabe grill-master probably having their own special version. The recipe that follows is a very simple one, and my favourite to make.
- 1 cup packed parsley, cleaned and dried (flat-leaf Italian parsley, or curly “fancy” parsley, or a combination of the two)
- 2 – 4 tablespoons oregano, cleaned and dried
- 3-5 medium cloves of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or some chopped fresh red chilli (optional, to taste)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pulse the herbs and garlic in your blender until well chopped.
- Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Add the chilli if using, and mix through.
I love combining rose with cardamom – it is a lovely Middle Eastern combination and puts me in mind of all the exotic places I visit \vicariously through the internet and travel books. Actually, the first time I combined these particular flavours, it was when…
Ingredients Base: 1 packet biscuits (I used Tennis Biscuits from South Africa, Coconut Based) 115g butter, melted Filling: 500g cream cheese (2 tubs) 100g caster sugar 100ml sour cream 1.5tbsp cake flour 2 large eggs 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds 50ml…