Spice of the week: Basil


One of the fundamental spices in southern European cuisine, Basil is this week’s spice selection from the Biodiversity Library Exhibition.

Its origins lie in India, where it was said to be sanctified by the god Vishna. The name “basilicum” however, doesn’t come from a deity, but from the Greek word for royal. It should therefore come as no surprise that this herb was highly regarded and that throughout European history, many medicinal and ritual uses were found for it!

Even in today’s cuisine, basil plays an important role, since it is one of the major components of pesto. So sit back, check out Basil in the Biodiversity HeritageLibrary, and celebrate its importance by making Spaghetti with pesto sauce. Bon app├ętit!

Turkey rolls with basil

400 g turkey  breasts
100 g ham
2 eggs
100 g grated cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion
1 dl white wine
3 mushrooms
1 tablespoons cornstarch
Parsley, ground pepper, salt

Cut turkey breasts into thin slices, salt and pepper to taste, roll in mixture of eggs, julienned ham, coarsely grated cheese and basil. Roll strips and pin with toothpicks, and coat with cornstarch. Braise in butter with chopped onion and mushrooms, marinate occasionally with wine. Serve with boiled potatoes, covered with gravy and garnished with parsley. Also garnish with tablespoon of finely chopped basil if desired.

Spice of the Week: Sesame


Once again, it’s time for our Spice of the Week. And this week, we’ve selected for you a spice derived from one of the oldest known cultivated plants in the world: sesame!
Sesamum indicum

And while it has no aroma, it is definitely full of taste, a taste which is slightly nutty and rather sweet. It also features in so-called sesame salt, also known as Gomasio, a mixture of roasted, ground sesame seeds and sea salt. It is also very effective against osteoporosis, as it is high in calcium and many essential oils.

Find out more at the BLE and try Australian burgers!


Australian burgers with sesame
500 g ground meat
I cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped capers
2 tablespoons fresh parsley(1 tablespoon dried)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
pinch chili powder
breadcrumbs for breading, salt

Mix ground meat with breadcrumbs, milk, one egg, finely chopped onion, paprika, parsley, capers and chili powder. Salt to taste, mix thoroughly and set aside for one hour in refrigerator. Beat other egg, dip in meat patties, then coat with breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. Grill on both sides until golden brown.