Tomato and Basil Salad
from “Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes”


2 large beefsteak tomatoes

a small bunch of fresh basil or purple basil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

a small chunk of salted ricotta of feta cheese

Crusty bread to serve


Cut your tomatoes horizontally into thick slices, and divide between two plates or a platter. Pick your basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones to one side, then use a pestle and morter to bash the rest to a pulp with a pinch of salt until you have a thick green paste. Gradually add the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, stirring with the pestle as you go, to make a thick basil oil. Taste and season. Then spoon over the tomatoes, using the back of the spoon to smear it all around. Crumble or finely grate a small hunk of ricotta or feta cheese over the tomato and basil. Place the baby basil leaves in the middle and serve with hot bread.Recipe-Pic


My herb gardens are growing amazingly! But now what do I do with the herbs?

So, I took three of Chuck’s day care boys, Blayke, Braxton and Finn, and we walked to the library to see if I could find a recipe book that I haven’t read that would have a recipe that would use my herbs.

The walk to the library with the boys was an adventure in itself. The boys like to pick up sticks, look for worms and frogs and smell the flowers. Then the library was wonderful for the boys and myself. You can buy a cup of coffee, read a book and have the boys participate in the weekly contest. Plus, if they have had five books read to them, they get a prize. We had so much fun! And the big finale: I found a recipe to use my basil.

If you want a cheap but fun date with your kids or grandkids or if you just want to treat yourself, take a walk to the library. You will have a grand time!