Tag Archives: basil

Pesto

Why flax seeds?  I have been reading a lot about omega 3 lately and trying to work it into my diet more often (rather than relying solely on supplements).  One of the best sources of omega 3 is ground flax seeds and thinking about the groundness of the seeds led me to pesto – the root of the word is the same as pestle and both derive from the Latinpestâ” (to pound or crush).  It seems that many people have negative connotations for flax seeds – that the texture is weird or flavor will be unpleasant.  But, i’ve tested this recipe on some discerning palates and everyone thought that the nuts used were either 100% walnuts or a mixture of walnuts and pine nuts.  Be sure to taste before and after adding the salt – I usually avoid salt in pesto recipes, but because the Lucini Stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano is so rich and flavorful and has less of a salty profile than generic Parmigiano Reggiano, I do add salt to this preparation.  As always find it better to start with a little less – you can add more, but if you start with too much, fixing the taste is difficult.

pesto

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Grind the flax seeds.  Combine the garlic, flax seeds, walnuts and salt in a food processor (or a mortar and pestle, for a more ‘authentic’ consistency) and blend until the mixture forms a paste.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending slowly.  Add the Parmigiano 1 tablespoon at a time, blending for short beats until the mixture forms a thick paste.  The pesto can be put in a container, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil and then stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.  Without this preservation layer, the pesto discolors very quickly and the garlic flavor will turn bitter in a matter of days.

Simple Sardine & Bean Salad

Sardines, beans, turmeric and flax seeds are four tasty sources of nutrients.  I like to use fresh beans, but sometimes they can be hard to find.  This recipe packs a protein punch, and anchors a quick lunch or dinner when paired with a green salad or some dark, leafy greens.  Lucini Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette adds a perfect, bright splash to counter the potential heaviness of the beans and fat of the fish.  And while sardines, beans and flax seeds may sound like the building blocks of a bland, “health over flavor” meal, this dish cedes no points in the taste department.

Ingredients:

  • 1      can   Olive Oil packed Sardines (drained)
  • 1      can   Organic Beans (Red or White Kidney, Black, Fava, Cannelini or Adzuki – use 1.5 C fresh, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup   Sun-dried Tomatoes (sliced crosswise)
  • 1                Scallion (green and white parts chopped)
  • 1/3 cup   Lucini Cherry Balsamic & Rosemary Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 tsp    Salt
  • 1/4 tsp    ground Paprika (preferably smoked)
  • 1/8 tsp    ground Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp    ground Turmeric
  • 1      Tb     Flax seeds, ground (optional)
  • 1      Tb     Lucini Basil-infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation:

Combine the first eight ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add more salt, pepper or paprika to taste.  Cover bowl and rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and mix in flax seeds and olive oil before serving.

This dish was inspired, in part, by Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.

Your Mom was Right – Eat Your Tomatoes!

I’ve written about the extensive research done with regards to the health benefts of extra virgin olive oil.  Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a pinch of sea salt and you have the classic and much beloved sugo di pomodoro or Lucini’s Tomato Basil Sauce. Here’s the great part – not only is this classic sauce great tasting, it’s great for you!

Tomatoes are naturally high in lycopene, a carotenoid (powerful antioxidants, protecting the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals) that has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “…the antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.

Garden-ripe Tomatoes - Cancer prevention in a pretty package

Garden-ripe Tomatoes - Cancer prevention in a pretty package

“Lycopene from tomatoes has been extensively studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. While lycopene may play an important role in tomatoes’ health benefits, it seems that it is not the only nutritional star integral for giving this food a red-hot reputation for health promotion; recent research discussed below in the section “Protection Due to Synergy of Tomato’s Nutrients, Not Just Lycopene” describes how scientists are finding out that it is the array of nutrients included in tomatoes, including, but not limited to lycopene, that confers it with so much health value. All the while, it’s still important to understand the many benefits that lycopene provides. Lycopene has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil or nuts. (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.”

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Fast food doesn’t have to mean ‘bad for you’! A tasty pasta meal with a mixed green salad take about 15 minutes to prepare and you get all the cancer-preventing benefits of tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil. To make it even easier, make sure you have a selection of Lucini Sauces on hand. And don’t forget the Lucini DOP Parmigiano Reggiano!

First ever essential oil infused extra virgin

Recent review by Progressive Grocer magazine

Recent review by Progressive Grocer magazine

Home chefs can now give complex dishes the perfect finishing touch with Lucini Italia Co.’s line of superpremium infused oils. Handcrafted in Tuscany using a 20-day artisan process, the line of “liquid spices” consists of Robust Garlic, Delicate Lemon, Fiery Chili, and Tuscan Basil varieties, each carefully made using Lucini’s Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh essnetial oil extracted from fresh ingredients. The suggested retail price for a 8.5-ounce bottle is $15.99.

We did find it online for less.