My herbs are in full bloom and I get so excited to go outside and gather fresh herbs when I am cooking! My favorites are my Genovese Basil. Perfect for Salads, Sauces and Appetizers:
My favorite is Pesto a la Genovese to stir into hot cooked spaghetti or drizzle it over my Summer Caprese Salad. And it goes without saying it is an essential ingredient is my Classic Marinara Sauce or Red Gravy.
Line a platter with your choice of lettuce..I like either Romaine or soft Butter Lettuce. Alternate slices of Creole Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil Leaves and scatter a handful of Kalamata Olives and Drizzle with Pesto Genovese. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Eggplant Spaghetti….Just make your regular Marinara Sauce (page 86) and after you saute the onions and garlic, just add 1 Medium eggplant with the skin, cut up into 1″cubes, that you have generously salted and allowed to drain in a colander for 40 minutes. Dry the cubes well and add to the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes and add all remaining ingredients. Simmer on Med. low heat for one hour! Boil Spaghetti in salted water for 8 minutes or “al dente”, Remove 1/2 of the Eggplant Sauce from the pot. Add the cooked pasta to the remaining sauce in the pot and cook on low for two minutes more. Serve immediately and top each portion with more sauce. Pass the freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese and the Garlic Bread!!
Bay Leaves, two different kinds…so fragrant… that goes in EVERYTHING New Orleans Style! Like Gumbos, Soups, Stews, Red Beans and Jambalaya….