Basil-parsley dip

Basil and parsley pesto dip

Combining basil, parsley and a handful of nuts into a dip is nothing revolutionary, but the result complements the crisps and crackers so very well.


Tuna, tomato and basil pasta

We have a few standard car-camping meals, and the tuna, tomato and basil pasta is one of them. It tastes great, it can be cooked in a trangia (or over a campfire, but not in summer, alas), and it needs very little preparation. It’s also very healthy and full of calories, which is important when there’s another day of walking to come.

Preserved zucchini

How to preserve zucchini

We’ve preserved zucchini by drying it (sun drying and in the dehydrator), ready for use in winter stews, and by this wonderful pickling method I found on an Italian vegan website: zucchini, salt, vinegar and oil. The Italian author says this dish will make the winter ‘lick his moustache’: what an excellent way to describe…

Lentil soup

Sunday soup: lentil soup

This lentil soup is my favourite: it’s easy to make, simultaneously filling and refreshing, and really, really delicious. Who would have thought a straightforward combination of lentils and vegetables would work so well?

Mussel, tomato and basil soup

Sunday soup: mussels, tomato and basil

Take some mussels, tomatoes and basil, and you have the perfect Sunday-night dinner. The trick is to use fresh basil and to be very fussy about your mussels. They should be fresh and sourced from somewhere reliable: for us, that’s mussels from pollution-free waters on the south coast of New South Wales.

Pizza with a difference: a pesto base for eggplant and zucchini slices and just a few small tomatoes

A pesto pizza, with eggplant and zuchinni on top

An eggplant and zucchini pizza with pesto as a base? No tomato paste? No mozarella cheese on top? No, none at all. Just a few cherry tomatoes to add a bit of zing. With thanks to La Petite Panière for the inspiration, this pizza is now a family favourite and well worth a try.

Fresh basil in the garden

Preserving basil

Maybe you need to save your summer surplus for winter, or maybe you just need to be super organised with your time and make a whole batch of basil-ready-for pesto. Either way, the trick is to keep that brilliant green colour and as much of the basil flavour as possible. We’ve found the best way is to quickly blanch the leaves, whiz them with a bit of olive oil, then freeze the result.