Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Infused Olive Oil -- Basil & Sun Dried Tomato

Remember This ? The Basil in my Herb Pot.

Well every year I throw together herbs in a pot and grow them. I grow them because I love the thought of growing my own herbs. But do I do anything with them ? Ummm, ummm...gulp, gulp. Well... I use all of the coriander and the garlic chives which are very scraggy in my pot and are not much but the rest is left to flourish and grow and look green and pretty.

No one will believe me when I say this, I think it is blasphemous to even utter this, but I never really cared to use the pretty, fragrant basil or oregano(yes someone said it is oregano) the last two years. But all that changed yesterday and I started plucking basil like crazy.

This basil had a very lemony scent to it and this is NOT lemon basil. I am growing lemon basil from a friend in a separate pot but this one was supposed to be the regular basil. But it was not the lemony scent that inspired me. It was the book, "Under the Tuscan Sun" which I have just started reading. The book is so very charming that it will make you do things like that.

Once plucked I wanted to make an infused Olive Oil. The husband said that my attempt might kill everyone with "botulism".

I did not listen. I listened to Martha Stewart.

I blanched a few basil leaves,
patted them dry,
coarsely pounded them with a mortal-pestle
and then I remembered Happy Cook putting sun dried tomatoes in olive oil.

So I took a washed and dried jar. This one is the Bru Coffee jar if you are curious.

Put some Sun dried tomatoes, put the pounded basil, poured in the extra virgin olive oil and am keeping it in the refrigerator for a week.

At room temperature or more than a week is not advisable.

We will see how I use it. For now I will just spread it on slices of baguette and take a bite with my tea.


By now everyone I know must have read Joel Stein's article in The Times. Maybe his intention was humor, but the piece seemed to me much more rude than funny, kind of in bad taste. It also mattered that he was not saying it to a closed audience in his living room but on a media with a far more outreach.
It is these incidents which spark a fire of hatred somewhere, puts doubt in young minds and makes them justify their action. It is such hatred that leads them towards bigger crime. My condolences to Dr. Divyendu Sinha's family who lost his life in a tragic incident last week.

I am sorry but I have not been able to reply to comments or visit and comment on your blogs. I am hoping I will be up to it in a week


  1. yes I agree with you, I just read the article and I am annoyed at the tone in which the author wrote the piece. no wonder it has sparked something in the young minds. My heartfelt condolence for Mr. sinha's family. May God give them courage to fight this extremely difficult time.

  2. Sandeepa.. ekhono bhebhe bhebhe pagol hoye jachi, that anything like this is even possible during this time and age. Its sickening to the guts and that article whatever he meant and whatever Time was thinking to let it be published to create sparks in the young minds i do not know.

    the garden, thanks to your parents this time(?) seems to be faring very well. love the oil and on a crusty bread. would like mine one a hot bowl of just cooked pasta or even some rice.. what do you say?

  3. I love the idea of growing herbs too.. Nice clicks with the brick background!

    Thanks for the links about the NJ incidents. Did not know about it before. Hopefully the cops are doing something about it.

  4. Sandeepa, the article is plain not funny. The guy writing it forgets he was an immigrant not in the distant past.

    Your herb infused oil looks perfect.

  5. I am sorry but i have to disgaree with you about the article.Yes,the article did mention things which were not wise and healthy.But i guess one has to see the perspective from the authors point too.How his hometown has been completley changed be it good or bad? All his childhood memories relating to restaurants,shops,building etc.Its always good to put oneself in other person shoes before coming to conclusions.

    Those are just my views.Pls donnt get offended.


  6. I thought the article was immature and sensational. I laughed at a couple of things - the cologne and the gold chains - but what I thought were the most disgusting were the references to clever racist insults and not-so-bright immigrants overtaking the place. Isn't the US itself a land of immigrants?

  7. The article is very immature and in poor taste. There is certainly a better way to write about immigrants taking over your hometown...!

    I'm happy to see my basil thriving and now I can do something with it :)

  8. The article is anything but humorous. Places change with time. Even our childhood places have changed. That does not mean we go out and blame people who have moved in and made it their home. And what happened to Mr.Sinha and his family is downright disturbing.
    Soma koto rokomer oil banaye ... ekhon tumio. Ami kobe banabo!
    Accha ... dried oregano diye ki banate pari?

  9. @Sayantani -- Thanks. They do need all our prayers

    @Soma -- Tomay mail korlam. Yeah I did use it to toss some pasta, will work more on that

    @SS -- Thanks, I loved that background :) It reflects a peaceful tea time that I seldom get

    @Indo -- Yeah and why does everyone want assimilation, why can't multiple cultures exist with some intersection

    @Rashmi -- Thanks for your views. But tell me, in a span of 2 decades whose hometown remains intact. For better or worse, they do change don't they ? Ask a Bangalorean and they will rightly crib about how their quaint little town has changed to a busy, crowded IT hub. Do they like it ? Maybe NO. Is it justified if they mock Indians from other parts or non-Indians who have moved there in public ?

    Yeah he seemed to be gloating on the racist insults, clever or not.

    I agree 100%

    Exactly, my thoughts. See my answer to Rashmi
    Ami oto oil banai na, amra primarily bangali khabar i khai baritey. Tobe ekhon summer bole prai i grill kora hoy, tai eita kaaje lege jabe ;-)

  10. You have inspired me with this post :)

  11. Wow.. real nice post! - what coincidence - I made sun dried tomato pesto over the weekend as well..

  12. btw - always love your pictures.. they are always very creative and apt for each post

  13. I read the Joel Stein piece a week or so back when it was linked in this article. The article is very funny and makes a mockery of the Stein's article. http://thirdworldghettovampire.blogspot.com/2010/06/bring-injuns-home.html

    "Joel Stein responds: I truly feel stomach-sick that I hurt so many people. I was trying to explain how, as someone who believes that immigration has enriched American life and my hometown in particular, I was shocked that I could feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with my changing town when I went to visit it. If we could understand that reaction, we’d be better equipped to debate people on the other side of the immigration issue."

    It is understandable that he misses his town etc etc, and that with the 'humor' in the article he is trying to expose the hypocrisy of many liberals (which is what his comment implies)- But STILL- I mean as you rightly said- its not like he made these statements to a purely liberal audience- he made it in the highly mainstream TIME which is read by everybody. And could be interpreted as a justification for the horrible hate crimes that have happened.

    I think the article was irresponsible, and if he really meant what he said in the comment that I have pasted above, then he should have made that intention very clear in the article. The article was in pretty bad taste, IMHO.

  14. I end up growing mint, basil and cilantro and oregano grows like weed in the backyard. Love the idea of infused oil.

  15. I have basil, and sun dried tomatoes, so this oil should be getting made soon.

    The article and Mr. Sinha's news are both shocking discoveries for me today.
    Especially in light of that incident, this article comes across as really irresponsible and scathing.
    The nonchalance with which he talks about white kids learning crime, and shouting racist slogans is deeply disturbing to say the least

  16. I shared the story of Dr. Divyendu Sinha with my husband. He studied in Stevens Tech too. How horrific he shook his head. My husband has spent many years in and around NJ and it saddens him to know all the hate crimes going on there. I hope justice is done soon.

  17. I know the feeling when you use home grown herbs :) I have basil & mint on my kitchen window and I have already used Basil a few times & believe me the pasta tasted divine!

    I will be waiting to hear how you used the infused oil.

  18. The more I read your different posts, the more I get amazed! You rock!


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.