Sunday, April 24, 2011

From the Basil Patch

This long weekend has been fabulous, and it just gets better because we still have two whole days left to enjoy!
On Friday I had a glorious sleep in and the sky was such an agreeable blue that I couldn't waste the day inside so I drove down to the coast and enjoyed a lazy day walking along the marina soaking up the sun. There waterfront was alive with couples and families and it felt like everyone was enjoying these fleeting final days of the dying summer.
I have always loved marinas; the tangle of masts against the sky, the stark contrast between white hulls and blue grey water, the generally relaxed feelings that the place emanates.

Saturday I woke before dawn and went for a run in the city. It was beautiful to see the sun rise over Brisbane and greet the day with a racing heart. I caught up with so many friends and then pored over some new recipe books. My (miniature) vegetable patch has a lush crop of basil at the moment and my lovely neighbour's lemon tree has been burgeoning with fruit so these two flavours have been playing at my mind. When I came across this recipe I wondered if it could be modified slightly to incorporate the fragrant basil that I harvested yesterday. I made some further changes to the recipe to see whether a vegan version would work.
To my delight, it did!

Lemon and Basil Cookies
  • 100g non-dairy margarine
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water and mixed until gelatinous)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil chopped finely
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g rice flour
  • 50g cornflour
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in flaxseed and water mixture
  4. Mix in zest and basil
  5. Stir in sifted flours until dough comes together
  6. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to firm up
  7. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays, flatten each ball slightly with your fingertips and then bake for about 15 minutes
  8. Cool and enjoy
I noticed with these cookies that they do not brown on top, rather they retain a smooth pale top and the underside only darkens slightly. I left them plain this time but they would be nice with a blanched almond pressed in the top before baking, or a drizzle of lemon glaze after they have cooled.

Before the oven.

I really enjoyed these cookies with their faint fragrant basil flavour supported by a twist of citrus, the texture is pleasing and different as a result of the combination of flours but overall I thought these were perfect alongside a cup of camomile tea after dinner.

Tomorrow is ANZAC day and my respect goes to all men and women who have served and those who continue to serve our country. Lest We Forget.

1 comment:

  1. The basil/lemon combo sounds great! And nice to hear that your vegan version worked out good :-)