My little garden
Not long time ago I moved to another flat and I was gifted with a balcony. Despite of being small, it has caused some impact in my life. Now while I have breakfast I can spy the city waking up and I dine looking at a small piece of the sky – which is a luxury here in Sao Paulo. However, there is nothing better than the joy of cultivating a garden: in few metres there is a rosebush living in harmony with a jabuticaba fruit tree and small vases with green and red basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and peppermint.
And nothing compares to fresh spices picked from the balcony for the dish that has been prepared in the kitchen. It is such a simple pleasure that makes me enrich each leaf of basil torn over a tomato sauce, the perfume of sage and rosemary that skips from the oven and the unmistakable peppermint essence that is remained on the hands.
When everything is ready, we set up the little table, light a candle and have the dinner there, counting the stars surrounded by our little garden.
I bring here for you the recipes with a menu of herbs and I hope you also feel like cultivating and picking your own ones. You just have to start: a little vase with basil, and another with peppermint. Tomorrow a rosemary plant and a couple of sage seedlings, then…
Roasted vegetables with herbs
Big pieces of pumpkin
Potatoes cut in halves
Red onions cut in quarters (in longitudinal direction)
A big garlic bulb cut in the horizontal direction (the cloves remain together and with the skin)
Two aubergines cut in thick stripes in longitudinal direction
Three whole cambuci peppers
Fresh bay leaves
Sprigs of rosemary
Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Grounded salt and pepper
Place the vegetables in the roasting tray. Mix the oil and the balsamic vinegar in a bowl with bay leaves torn into pieces, rosemary, salt and pepper. Sprinkle all vegetables with this sauce. Cover the roasting pan with foil and take it to the oven heated in 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes. After that, remove the foil and let the vegetables to brown, sprinkling every now and again with olive oil and add rosemary sprigs to decorate and to perfume the dish.
Marinated chicken with herbs
1 kg of chicken legs or thighs
½ glass of white wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
2 leaves of fresh bay
Grounded black pepper
Fresh herbs – sage, rosemary, thyme, and basil.
Crush the garlic with salt and pepper. Add white wine, torn bay leaves, oil and vinegar. Flavour the chicken with this sauce and leave it marinating for two or more hours. Place the chicken pieces in a roasting pan; add fresh herbs (they may be put under the chicken) and the marinated sauce. Take it to the oven in a medium heat. When it starts to brown, turn the chicken pieces and then let the roast brown as much as you like.
Baby leaves salad
Baby leaves of beetroot and of lettuce or rocket
One thickly grated beetroot
Leaves of red basil
Sprinkle with oil flavoured with salt, pepper and lemon.
Ice-cream with berries, meringue and peppermint leaves
In a bowl you can mix the fruits (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries), add a tablespoon of honey and lime juice. Leave it aside for a while. When you serve them, put the fruits in a cup, add vanilla ice-cream and pieces of broken meringue on the top. Make your final touch with fresh leaves of peppermint.