Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Perfect home made pesto

As promised earlier this week, here is our favourite home made pesto recipe.

A bunch or two of fresh basil
2-3 cloves of garlic
Fresh parmesan cheese
Few drops of fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
A few glugs of olive oil

Place all ingredients except for olive in a whizzer of your choice, mine is my magimix and whizz until smooth. You can use a mortar and pestle too. Once everything is smooth add olive oil and hand mix until you have a smooth oily paste.

For variation add a red chilli to spice up your creation.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Weekend Awards

Really pleased today. Just been nominated for a Bronze Award for my Weekend Notes - Brisbane article for a review of a local Turkish restaurant we went to last week. Been writing articles for the past month. The more I write the more I'm starting to love writing. It's a great learning curve and being nominated for an award justs adds the motivation to keep doing it.
Check out my latest article here:

I highly recomend checking out the Weekend Notes site and see if they have a section for your city. Get writing!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Top Of The Pesto Pops

Picture of the three pestos in our comparison
The Three Candidates
Ruqayya and I both love Italian food and I bet you do to. Tasty, hearty, warm, big bold flavours.

Some of the tastiest dishes can often be the simplest to prepare. I'm talking about basil, cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, but who has the time to make a decent sauce from scratch?

I know we always have a jar of shop-bought pesto in the refrigerator for those emergency meals when all you can muster is a bowl of hot spaghetti and a dollop of luscious green pesto.

We've found the quality of these shop bought pestos to vary quite a lot, so I thought I'd let you know our findings while living down under. Read on for the results.

3rd Place - Leggos Traditional Basil Pesto

This pesto was gloopy. Somewhere between basil flavoured baby food and wallpaper paste. This pesto finds it's way on to most supermarkets and convenience stores here in Australia. Not sure why though. Too much salt, and not enough quality ingredients put this pesto in last place.

Verdict: 2 out of 5 basil leaves.

2nd Place - Coles Own Brand Basil Pesto

A contender here from one of the largest supermarket brands in Australia. This is a more authentic pesto than the Leggo's offering. The sauce is full of basil flavour however the ingredients do mention 'basil flavour' on the list. What's wrong with real basil? 
Another detractor is the amount of oil in the pot, the consistency is quite loose, but at least it has real olive oil in it.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 basil leaves. 

1st Place - Sacla Classic Pesto

Ok, now Sacla are probably the biggest producers of pesto I know of. I have bought their products in the UK and also seen them in other countries around Europe. I wouldn't normally advocate patronising such a huge brand, but as far as the ready made pestos go - these guys have it cornered and for good reason. The pesto was rich and tasty, full of fresh basil and cheese flavours. Not too thick, not too runny, mixed well with the hot pasta.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 basil leaves.

In the next post we will give you a recipe for a fresh home-made pesto. With a few fresh ingredients you can make something worthy of an Italian table without much fuss. Be sure to catch our next post.

Which pesto is the best where you live? Send a message or photo to show our other readers.

What Is Watermelon Salad?

Watermelon Salad
Today Ruqayya came up with a salad idea inspired from Jellyfish Restaurant in Brisbane.

Ingredients per serving:

1 Slice - fresh watermelon, diced
1 Handful - chopped olives
1 - chopped chilli (mild)
1 Sprinkle - Feta cheese

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and let the flavours do their thing. Serve with a pasta or pizza dish, or in place of your usual salad.

I have to admit that I was seriously sceptical about this dish at first, but I was willing to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. Sweet, salty, hot, refreshing. The watermelon adding a similar note as a cucumber would I guess, only sweeter.

Great for a summer party

Next time I'm going to request a few anchovies in the mix and see if works.

Let us know how you feel about watermelon in your salad. Have you already tried it?