There are three key herbs that we at Tucci’s Kitchen love to grow and use in our cooking. We have many pots in our Kitchen Garden that are stuffed full of all sorts of fragrant goodies, even just running your finger through a pot is enough to release the aromas and take you back to Italy! Most herbs are so easy to grow at home, on a window sill or on the patio, or even in a traditional ornamental herb garden. Now is the best time to be picking them, preserving them and adding them to your home cooking!
Basil – an Italian staple, no Soup, Salad or Pizza is the same without it. In Abbruzzo, homemade pesto is made by crushing the leaves of freshly picked basil together with pine nuts and lots of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Usually this is done by hand in a pestle and mortar, and is best served with freshly cooked spaghetti, or drizzled over your Tomato and Mozzarella salad. The omission of cheese is particularly regional to Abbruzzo, and brings a lightness to your pesto that is refreshing and delicious, especially for the summer months.
Oregano - A relative of the mint family, oregano is a popular and much used herb in the mediterranean region. Its flavour intensifies with preservation, which is why it is often sprinkled over pizza, or used liberally in a tomato sauce. At Tucci’s kitchen we love to use fresh oregano, which has a more delicate flavour in our Rocket and Fennel Salad, and the dried version is a mainstay of our signature salad dressing. No meat goes unseasoned or unmarinated in Tucci’s Kitchen, with oregano as one of the best starting points to bring out the beautiful flavours of the mediterranean. Oregano is also the base herb in Chef Tucci’s own blend of mixed italian herbs.
Rosemary – An essential in any Kitchen, Rosemary is traditionally used to flavour focaccia, and is perfect when making infused Olive Oils. Store in a glass bottle of olive oil, as the fragrant juices infuse the oil itself, it is perfect for flavouring salad dressings, or just used as a dipping oil. Rosemary is also traditionally used to flavour roasted meats, and whole twigs are often baked in the oven together with the joint, potatoes and other vegetables. It is particularly good combined with citrus flavours.