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Vegan pesto

I'm sure you all know, at the very least more or less, how to make pesto. This is just to remind you that pesto is always a good idea: for a quick pasta dinner, as an addition to a sharing platter, on what to do with herbs from your garden.

Traditional Ligurian pesto is made with basil, but I went for a blend of different herbs: basil, thyme, oregano and a bit of rosemary and mint. I skipped parmesan, but kept pine nuts from the original recipe. Feel free to experiment with herbs and nuts - try almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds or walnuts.

Recipe: Vegan pesto

Ingredients
  • one cup fresh herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint
  • 1/2 small clove of garlic
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, roasted on a dry pan
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp soli morskiej
Method
  • Blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste using pestle and mortar or a food processor.
  • Feel free to add more olive oil, depending on what kind of consistency you like.
  • If not using immediately, place the sauce in a jar, top with a layer of oil and refrigerate until needed..

Ombre tomato tart

This recipe doesn’t even deserve to be called a recipe - it’s more of an idea on how to make a quick and effective snack with summer heirloom tomatoes. The ombre tart is bound to get you some attention and compliments, so, in case you had no idea what to bring for the next potluck picnic/barbecue/garden party, I just solved this challenging problem. No need to thank me.

The to success is to get the right tomatoes. The more different shades you’ve got, the more spectacular the ombre effect. You could also use the ombre idea to prepare something else, like a salad patter.

Recipe: Ombre tomato tart

Ingredients
  • one sheet puff pastry
  • a handful heirloom tomatoes of various colours and shapes, thickly sliced
  • 50 g Greek feta cheese
  • 1-2 branches rosemary, chopped
  • one tsp olive oil
  • one tsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Roll out the pastry on a parchment paper, forming a rectangle.
  • Place tomato slices on the pastry - group the colours together and try to achieve a fluent transition from one shade to another.
  • Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and evenly sprinkle with sugar, salt and rosemary.
  • Top with crumble feta.
  • Place in the hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Mulled white wine

December is a perfect month to enjoy all kinds of hot, delicious, warming drinks. Mulled wine is a winter classic! Usually prepared with red wine, it tastes equally great with white chardonnay or riesling. With an addition of cinnamon, rosemary and oranges, it tastes like winter. Have fun warming up!

Recipe: Mulled white wine

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 500 ml dry white wine
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a few branches of rosemary
  • one tbsp brown sugar
Method
  • Slice one orange and squeeze the other one..
  • Place cinnamon sticks, rosemary and orange slices in a pot.
  • Add sugar and white wine.
  • Bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add wine and reduce the heat to low. Heat the wine, but do not bring to boil.
  • Serve immediately.

Roasted fig salad

Light salad with rosemary-roasted figs, watercress and feta. Simple, easy and delicious. Perfect with a glass of dry white wine for autumn dinner.

I hope for many sunny, relatively warm days before winter. Maybe this fall wan't be all warming soups and mulled wine. Just maybe.

Recipe: Roasted fig salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5-6 ripe figs
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • one tsp brown sugar
  • a handful of rosemary springs
  • 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.
  • Cut the figs into quarters and place them in a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped rosemary.
  • Roast for about 30 minutes.
  • Divide the watercress between two plates and top with slightly cooled figs.
  • Top with crumbled feta and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

I hope you are having a lot of fun this holiday season! I would love to wish you all a beautiful new year and a magical New Year's Eve. You can celebrate with this festive pomegranate and rosemary cocktail. Of course you don't have to save it for the New Year's, it's works great for every occasion.

Recipe: Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 80 ml of gin
  • 80 ml of chilled pomegranate juice
  • one tbsp. of rosemary simple syrup
  • one tbsp. of lime juice
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish with rosemary springs and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Rosemary simple syrup

Ingredients
  • one cup of water
  • one cup of sugar
  • 5 rosemary springs
Method
  • Place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over low heat, until sugar dissolves completely.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Discard rosemary springs and chill the syrup in a fridge.
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