Black Sesame Crumb Cake

This decadent Black Sesame Crumb Cake is like no other.  The black sesame seeds add a subtle kick to the overall flavor.  The Crème Fraiche adds a delightful rich quality.  There is no shortage of crumb topping and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  It goes perfectly alongside a cup of tea, coffee or even a glass of wine.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Valentine’s day is right around the corner, so I decided to create this decadent black sesame crumb cake as a special treat to celebrate the holiday of love.

Robby and I were married about 2 years ago on March 18th, 2015.  Something you may not know is that Robby and I both grew up in Santa Monica and met through mutual friends when we were teenagers.  He was in a punk rock band with my first boyfriend. At the time there were around ten of us that would hang out together and go to punk rock and reggae shows.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake After my first boyfriend and I broke up, I didn’t hang out with them anymore and ended up moving to Maui, then on to Oregon.  A few years later, Robby had moved to Boston.  Many years would pass until Robby and I would see each other again.  In 2007 I moved back to Venice and a year later Robby moved back as well.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were teenagers yet it seemed like no time had passed.  You can read about how we ended up together in this post.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Of course, there were a lot of things that we originally didn’t know about each other and have discovered since we have been reconnected.  One of the things we discovered was that we both went to the same elementary school and that we were both obsessed with Hostess crumb cakes, so I thought I would come up a healthier version that we could both enjoy for Valentine’s day.   I replaced white cane sugar with coconut sugar due to Robby’s cane sugar allergy and I used wheat free flours because of my wheat allergy.  It was a tough recipe to nail down but I finally did it!

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Five attempts later, I had my recipe dialed in and it turned out phenomenal and quite addicting.  My favorite way to serve this crumb cake is with cream but it is also insane with ice cream or whipped cream.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake Black Sesame Crumb Cake Recipe:

8 to 12 servings

Crumb Topping
  • 1 1/4 Cups Coconut Sugar – packed
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Millet Flour
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Millet Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) Butter – room temperature
  • 1 1/3 Cups Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Chia Eggs – 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds whisked with 5 tablespoons water
  • 4oz. (1/2 Cup) Creme Fraiche
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
To start

Grease your 9 1/2 inch springform pan with butter then line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sesame Seeds/Chia Seeds
Add the seeds to the bowl of a food processor or coffee grinder. Pulse the seeds in a food processor until finely ground.  Set aside.  Do the same with the chia seeds.
Crumb Topping

in a small sauce-pan, melt the butter on medium-low.  While butter is melting, in a medium bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, sesame seeds,  and salt.  When the butter is melted add it to the flour and toss with a fork until moist clumps form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flours, sesame powder, tapioca flour, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together really well.  Set aside.
  In a small bowl, add the 5 tablespoons of water and quickly whisk in the 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds until it becomes gelatinous and then set aside.
In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together well and then add the apple cider vinegar and vanilla.  Add the chia egg to the butter and pulse until just incorporated.  Next, add the creme fraiche and mix in.  Add the flour in two stages and roughly mix then dump into the large bowl that the flour was in and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands.
Add half of the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumb topping evenly on top of the batter then plop spoonfuls of batter around the top of the crumbs and very carefully spread the batter over the crumbs.  You need a little bit of patience but don’t worry it will come together.
Put the cake onto a cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven on the middle rack in the middle of the oven.  Bake for 60 minutes.  Carefully remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour but it is best to let it cool completely. The cake will still be cooking as it cools.

Black Sesame Crumb Cake

Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce over Spaghetti

If you love cream sauce and Gorgonzola like I do, you will love this Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce.  I sautéed shallots in red wine and then added some cream along with my Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto to make this glorious sauce.  I used arrowroot to thicken it so it is naturally gluten free.  It is a rich and decadent sauce perfect for those cold winter nights.  Serve it with a simple green salad and a glass of red wine and you will have yourself a lovely meal.

Rosemary Gorgonzola Pesto Cream Sauce We have had quite a bit of rain this year and it has been much appreciated!  Sometimes it’s nice to be stuck inside but after a couple of weeks, one starts to yearn for the sun.  Don’t get me wrong, I know we have it easy compared to all my friends in Oregon but it’s all relative, right?

This weekend was so incredibly gorgeous that we were able to have a nice picnic on the beach with a few of our closest friends!  Beto and clan, as well as Erin, Leif and Taj, all met up at our house on Sunday before heading down to the beach.  Beto brought a new portable grill and grilled up various meats including Jill’s homemade shish-kabobs.  We had a nice bottle of wine, pesto, Robby’s sourdough bread, my famous shortbread cookies that lasted about 5 minutes and an assortment of salads and cheese.  It was the perfect day and the kids had a blast!

Have you ever used arrowroot powder before?  It’s a fantastic thickener.  I prefer it to cornstarch because I know it is not going to be GMO.  Even though Arrowroot is a starch, it has one of the highest amounts of protein compared to any other starches or flours.  I have used it for many years with great results.  It thickens without getting gummy and it leaves no trace of flavor.  It can become slimy if you use too much, though.

These are just some of the health benefits.

  • It is super high in potassium, which is great for heart health.
  • It increases bile production that helps lower cholesterol.
  • Its high Iron content is helpful for circulation.
  • It has an alkalizing effect that helps balance the body’s pH, which is so important for keeping inflammation down.
  • Its fiber content is fantastic for the digestion and weight control.
  • As if that’s not enough, it’s full of vitamin B that helps boost your metabolism.

I believe that arrowroot is undervalued.  If it is new to you, I recommend trying it out. I think you will like it.  It works wonderfully in gluten-free baking, in a sauce, gravy or as a soup thickener.  It is best added towards the end as it can lose its thickening properties if over cooked.

Here’s a great explanation from “One Green Planet

Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce This sauce pairs nicely with a light Pinot Noir or a Tempranillo for a red wine. For a white, I recommend a Sauvignon Blanc.

Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce Recipe:
  • 1 Large Shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/3 Cup Dry Red Wine
  • 2 Cups Half and Half or Milk – or both
  • 1 Recipe Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto – recipe below
  • 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil – or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Small Clove Garlic
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Crumbled gorgonzola
  • Sprig of Rosemary
Remove the leaves off of the rosemary stems and add to a food processor or blender.  Measure everything else and add to the rosemary, then puree until really smooth.
Make sure to scrape the sides down at least once.

 Add the shallots to a sauté pan with olive oil and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic, continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.

Continue to check the shallots and when they are soft, add the white wine.

Cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.

While the shallots are cooking, put a large pot of salted water on and bring to a boil.
 When the wine has reduced, add the half and half or milk to the onions.  When the half and half/milk is warm, whisk in the pesto until it is dissolved, then the arrowroot powder, salt and pepper.  Turn the sauce to a low simmer and cook the pasta according to the package directions or until al dente.
Spoon the sauce over the drained and rinsed pasta.
*Make sure to rinse the pasta.  Brown rice pasta is very starchy.
Gorgonzola Rosemary Pesto Cream Sauce Health benefits:

Rosemary is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants that stimulate the immune system and is good for your brain. It contains carnosic acid that can significantly promote eye health and fight off free radical damage in the brain and helps protect the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration conditions like Alzheimer’s. It also helps with normal aging on the brain by enhancing memory and concentration.  Rosemary has anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce asthma attacks and is rich in dietary fiber, which improves the digestion.  It is super high in vitamin A and for optimal vision, you need just a few leaves a day to almost meet the requirement.  It blocks estrogen which helps prevent breast cancer and it helps with liver function.

*It may interfere with some medications like Lithium, diuretics, diabetes medication, high blood pressure and blood-thinning medications.

*If you are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid large quantities.

Persimmon Rose Scones

The beauty of these Persimmon Rose Scones is that you can serve them for breakfast or dessert!  The scones themselves are lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and they are topped with a lovely rose cacao butter glaze with a sprinkle of rose petals. They are not only delicious, they are pretty to look at as well and they just so happen to be gluten-free.  Serve them with coffee or tea.

Persimmon Rose Scones It’s almost the end of 2016. Can you believe it?  I am not one to do New Year’s resolutions because I know myself better than that!  Instead of a resolution, Robby and I are all about clearing out the old and unused to make room for the new.  So, I am passing some of my vintage clothes along.  I have been carrying them around with me ever since I was 15 years old.  I didn’t have much money to spend on clothes when I was young but that all changed when I discover thrift store clothes and my closet became stuffed full of treasures.  At that time I could never have enough options.   I am now slowly refining my style and I am looking to thin out my wardrobe.

Persimmon Rose Scones On Thanksgiving, I did just that.  I have wanted to give my friend Alison some of my vintage clothes for some time now.  I finally had the opportunity.  Shortly after she arrived, we grabbed some wine and went into my room to sift through my closet.  I can’t even tell you how fun it was for both of us.  I could never just give my clothes to a thrift store or sell them. I wanted to find someone who would treasure them as much as I do.  Each piece I handed her was received with an “OMG, are you sure? This is so gorgeous!”  Yes, nothing will make me happier than to see my clothes being worn and not just wasting away in a closet.   Alison is in an all girls bluegrass band named “Sugar by the Pound” and she is always so stylish, so my treasured clothes have found a wonderful new home where they will be cherished.

Persimmon Rose Scones I enjoyed these scones with espresso and half & half but they are also wonderful with my hibiscus tea or a classic black tea.

Here are a few creative persimmon recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers.
Bruschetta with Persimmon Chutney – Food Fashion Party
Persimmon Mandarin Bundt Cake – Sabores y Momentos
Persimmon Rose Scones Persimmon Rose Scones Recipe:
6 – 8 servings
  • 1 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1 Cup Millet Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Tapioca Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (about 2) Persimmons – super ripe – pulp
  • 1 Chia Egg – 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds – ground – 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter – unsalted – cold – cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Half and Half
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean – with the tip of a knife cut a slit lengthwise and scrape out the seeds
Rose Glaze
  • 1/4 Cup (25 g) Cacao Butter – grated  – yields  2 tablespoons liquid
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosewater
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • Rose Petals – optional

* I adapted this recipe from Alana’s Roasted Banana Teff Scones from her wonderful cookbook “Alternative Baker

Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oat flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar.
Whisk together well.  Add the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers to break up the butter into small pieces.  Set in refrigerator until needed.
Vigorously whisk the tablespoon of ground chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water to remove any lumps.  Let sit for a couple minutes to thicken.  Scoop out the persimmon pulp and measure.  Whisk the half & half into the chia egg and then the vanilla bean seeds, apple cider vinegar and persimmon pulp.
Remove the flour from the refrigerator and then gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with your hands.   It will be a slightly sticky wet dough but it will still hold together.  Knead together until it forms a ball.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Form a disc with your hands that’s about 1 inch tall and about a 6-inch circle.  Use a large knife to cut the circle into 6 to 8 even wedges.  Use a spatula to carefully transfer the scones onto a parchment lined baking sheet or cut right on the parchment lined baking sheet and carefully slide a spatula under and pull them back to let space in between each scone to let the sides cook.
Bake for 20-25 min, lightly golden. Let cool.
They are the ultimately the best when they are fresh. 
*Notes from Alana on tips for scone success.  Keep ingredients and dough cool to keep the butter from fully incorporating into the flour. Make sure your butter starts out cold, work fast and refrigerate your dough if your kitchen is hot.
She also suggests using two baking sheets on top of one another to prevent a thicker crust on the bottoms.
When the scones are almost cool you can start the glaze recipe.
In a small double boiler or a glass bowl fit snug over a small saucepan of water, melt the cacao butter over medium-low heat until it is completely melted.  While it is melting add the powdered sugar into a small bowl and mix in the rosewater and salt and then add in the cacao butter and mix until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze onto each scone and top with rose petals while still soft.

Persimmon Rose Scones

Cream of Potato Chive Soup with Roasted Jalapeno

Well friends, it’s that time of year again.  Daylight savings is upon us and it has me craving a silky smooth bowl of cozy soup.  This Cream of Potato Chive Soup is creamy, fulfilling and super tasty!  The potato and chives complement each other perfectly. The heat from the jalapeno and hot chili oil adds a beautiful depth that ties it all together.

Cream of Potato Chive Soup It has been 4 years since Ang and I started this blog.  It all started one day when I called Ang to tell her that I was going to start a blog.  She suggested that we start it together and that is exactly what we did.  We covered topics such as recipes, fashion, restaurants, wineries, interviews, health, passion videos and photos.

In the beginning, we used to post up to 5 times a week but the posts were very weak with minimal content.  We plugged along consistently learning everything we could about running a blog.  We taught ourselves food photography and styling with the help of the Internet.  We learned how to write recipes and instructions, we brushed up on our Photoshop skills and continued to learn photo editing.  We learned about social media marketing and how to build our own self-hosted WordPress website.  We learned SEO, we searched for all the plugins we needed and we learned a whole lot more!

Cream of Potato Chive Soup About a year and a half later, we decide to streamline our topics to recipes, interviews, restaurants and wineries.  Ang became more involved with cocktail recipes and I became very passionate in the area of food recipes.  We had a lot of fun collaborating and inspiring each other.

 Sadly, that era has come to an end and Ang is now moving on from the blog.  It’s sad but also very exciting.  She has been working for a new company and she is loving it!  She was able to quit the restaurant industry and now is able to enjoy weekends and holidays with her friends and family.  This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas that she will be able to spend with the boys and I couldn’t be happier for them!  I will continue on with CaliZona and there will always be a place for Ang when she feels like creating a new cocktail.  I added her cocktails to the recipe drop-down menu so you can find them when you are craving one of her delicious creations!  Here’s to a new time full of inspiration and creativity!!

Cream of Potato Chive Soup This soup is wonderful with a sparkling wine such as a Cava or Prosecco.  It’s also lovely with a Chablis or Sancerre.

Cream of Potato Chive Soup Cream of Potato Chive Soup
8 – 10 servings
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 4 – 5 (3 1/2 pounds) Russet Potatoes – peeled – save peels
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Half and Half (or milk)
  • 1 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeno Pepper – roasted – roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup Chives – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Chili Oil
  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 Dried Thai Chilies or Arbol
  • Chives – minced – to taste
  • Hot Chili Oil
  • 3 – 4 Jalapeno Peppers (about half per bowl) – roasted – sliced or minced – optional
  • Crispy Potato Skins – optional
Start by

Place the cubed potatoes in a large bowl covered with filtered water.  Set aside.

Add the onions and olive oil to a 5 1/2 quart pot or dutch oven and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook until garlic just starts to become golden.

Once the garlic becomes golden, add bouillon cubes and wine to the onions.   Mash the bouillon to dissolve.

While the onions are cooking, roast peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.
Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.
Add the water and potatoes to the onions then cook on high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
 Add the milk, half and half, chives, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  If you want it silky smooth you will need to use an immersion blender or a vita mixer.  If you don’t have either use a food processor or blender and puree the best you can.
Chili Oil

 Add oil and chilies to a small pot.  Turn the stove on, in between low and medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool then pour into a jar.

Crispy Potato Skins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel the potatoes, then dry the peels with a paper towel and sprinkle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and toss to evenly coat.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until crispy.
The skins won’t stay crunchy overnight but you can toss them back in the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up if you like.
Cream of Potato Chive Soup Health Benefits:
Chives contain flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  It is one of the richest sources of vitamin K, rich in vitamin C and is really high in vitamin A. It reduces cholesterol production in the liver and helps decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.  It also helps to maintain bone mineral density.

Jalapeno is a rich source of vitamin C, 1 pepper provides 18 % of the daily value for men and 23 % for women. They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which helps skin and eye health. Jalapenos contain phenols, flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss. The bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants and help strengthen blood vessels. They also fight nasal congestion by stimulating secretions that help clear mucus from the nose. They contain more vitamin B6 aiding the immune system, E that protect the cells and K, which increases bone mass more than any other pepper.

Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce over Brown Rice Spaghetti

This Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce is a bright luscious sauce packed with flavor and versatility!  I added fresh cherry tomatoes and basil on top of individual servings for an added freshness.  I chose to serve it over pasta but it is also great served by itself with a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of a crisp wine.

3U9A2080 This last week was so much fun, to say the least.  Robby had to go to L.A. for work and lucky me was able to tag along for the ride.  We stayed at the Marriott in Marina del Rey with an awesome view of our old hometown.  I have never seen the Westside from that perspective before; it was pretty cool!  After we arrived, we freshened up and went to meet our longtime friends, Maggie, George, Christine and Jonny at a fairly new Italian inspired restaurant called Scopa.  There was a lot of great conversation and laughter involved as usual!

I was really looking forward to the next day because I had made plans to meet up with Adam and Ryan who are fellow food bloggers from Husbands that Cook.  We met in Venice at The Butcher’s Daughter for lunch and they were just as sweet as I imagined them to be.  We had so much to talk about during the relatively short time we spent together.  Unfortunately, we barely scratched the surface of all the things we wanted to learn about each other but that just gives us more reason to meet up again!

3U9A2048 Later that day, I went to visit one of the old school Venice families who still hold down the old Venice vibe, which is slowly but surely disappearing!  When I use to live down the street from the Massie’s, I would give Ms. Massie a back massage every time I stopped in.  Well, this time was no different and I gave her one on this visit as well!  It is always so great to see everyone!  Robby had text me when he was off work and we decided to meet George at Charcoal Venice for dinner.   My good friend Josiah is the owner/chef of Charcoal and he told me he was going to be working that night.  The food was phenomenal; I highly suggest you try it if you are ever in the area.  And there are surprisingly a lot of vegetarian options.

3U9A2096 The next day my dad drove down to meet me for lunch.  We ate at Cafe del Mar that happens to be a few buildings east of the Marriott.  The food was really good and they had a great view of the Marina but that’s all I’m going to say about the restaurant.  My dad left shortly after lunch and I went back to the hotel to meet my friend John for a glass of wine before heading to dinner at Cast and Plow with Robby’s coworkers.  Cast and Plow is a restaurant at Ritz Carlton that also overlooks the Marina.  I had a great time meeting and chatting with Robby’s coworkers!

3U9A2118 I always make it a point to go to the 3rd St. Promenade to do a little shopping whenever I am in LA, so I snuck in some quick shopping the next morning before I met up with Maggie for lunch.  We met at a wine bar called Local Kitchen and Winebar, which was located where Marty’s Liquor store use to be.  Marty’s was in that location for almost 50 years, which was in the neighborhood I grew up in.  This is the liquor store that Maggie and I managed to get beer from when we were teenagers!  Haha.

After lunch with Maggie, I went to meet up with another friend Janelle.  We met at her boyfriend’s furniture shop Stansbury where she also happens to work and we decided to go to a Spanish tapas restaurant down the street called Manchego for dinner.  We shared 5 varieties of tapas along with a really nice bottle of Rueda Verdejo and we talked and talked and talked!  This had to be one of the best times I have had in LA in a very long time!

3U9A2142 Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce Recipe:

4 – 6 Servings

  • 7 Large Tomatoes – cored – cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • Marinade – recipe below
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine – I used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper


  • 6 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 Packed Cup Fresh Basil leaves – finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry White Wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sea Salt


  • Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – quartered
  • Fresh Basil Leaves

Preheat oven to 325 F

  In a bowl, mix together the garlic, thyme, basil, oil, wine and salt.  On a large baking sheet or 2, lay out the tomatoes in a single layer and spread the marinade over the tomatoes.

Put the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes depending on the size of the tomato, the tomatoes will start to look a little shriveled up.  The tomatoes will produce water and you will want to keep it.

 Turn oven up to 400 F for 20 minutes to slightly caramelize the tomatoes.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, although a little brown is okay and they will have the roasted sweetness that gives these tomatoes the yummiest flavor!

 While tomatoes are cooking saute the onions in the olive oil until soft.  Add the wine and reduce until syrupy.

Set aside until tomatoes are finished cooking.

When tomatoes are finished cooking, let them cool and peel off the skins.

Put everything into a food processor or blender, including tomato water and puree.  Pour back into the pan and simmer until it thickens up to desired consistency.

 Drizzle a little olive oil over it.


While sauce is simmering, add pasta to a pot of salted and oiled water.  Cook according to the package.

Mix a little sauce into the pasta then top individual servings with more sauce.  Top with fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

3U9A2183 Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to your water or tea.