The herbs add flavor to anything you're making.
QUICK IDEAS: add to some hot water and steep for tea; dry herbs to use for the entire year
How to Dry Herbs
1) Use scissors to cut sprigs off plants. Make sure to never cut an herb plant at the base, this will kill the plant. Only cut sprigs from around the outside of the plant.
2) Place each type of herb in its own paper sack and label the bag.
3) Store paper bags in dry spot in your kitchen (I use a cupboard where I store all my herbs and spices. Leave for at least 2 weeks, or until dry.
4) Use a food processor to finely chop the herbs. I usually de-stem them first. You can also grind the herbs with a mortar and pestle. Once herbs are dried, store in a glass jar with sealed lid. Plastic herb containers work, too.
Herb-Infused Olive Oil
from Food and Wine, August 2011
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup chives
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1) Puree parsley and basil and chives with olive oil.
2) Let stand for 1 hour, then strain into jar.
3) Submerge thyme and rosemary sprigs in the oil for 3 to 4 weeks.
4) Funnel the oil into a glass bottle and store in a cool, dark place.
Lemon-Rosemary Sun Tea
from Food and Wine, August 2011
1/4 Cup Rosemary leaves
1/4 of a lemon, thinly sliced
1) In a large jar or pitcher, bruise rosemary leaves with a wooden spoon.
2) Add 1/4 of a thinly sliced lemon.
3) Pour 1 1/2 quarts of cold water over top.
4) Cover and let stand for 4 hours. Strain and serve over ice.
Herb and Cheese Poppers: Makes 36 poppers
from Bon Appetit 2009
2 cups grated sharp cheddar (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting and rolling)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, frozen
1 1/2 cups plain whole yogurt OR buttermilk
1) Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Mix cheese, the mince fresh herbs, and pepper in a medium bowl.
3) Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in another bowl.
4) Using a box grater, grate frozen butter onto a plate. Add grated butter to flour mixture and rub with finger tips until evenly distributed. Stir in yogurt until just incorporated (dough will be sticky)
5) Sprinkle work surface with flour. Transfer dough onto surface and sprinkle dough with flour. Using hands, press dough into a 8 inch square, about 1/2 inch thick; sprinkle more flour on top as needed to prevent sticking.
6) Sprinkle 1/2 cup herb/cheese mixture over 2/3 of the dough surface.
7) Using a spatula, lift 1/3 of uncovered dough and fold over half of the covered surface. Then lift folded section over the remaining cheese-covered section.
8) Sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking. Press dough out again to 8 inch square. Spread 1/2 cup of herb/cheese mixture over 2/3 of the dough and repeat folding folding method.
9) Repeat 2 more times. adding flour as necessary.
10) Roll out dough on floured surface to 10 inch square; cut into 36 pieces.
11) Position oven rack in the center; preheat to 500.
12) Bake bisquits in single layer on baking sheet until golden on top, about 10 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes.
from Bon Appetit May 2014
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1) Mix cream cheese, dill, and horseradish in a small bowl; season with salt.
Cucumber Cocktail with Chamomile Tonic
from Food and Wine, August 2011
4 ounces cucumber, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 ounces Bitter Chamomile Tonic:
Mince: 10 ounces dandelion leaves, 2 cups lemon balm, 1 cup mint, 1 cup chamomile flowers
Mix together in 1 1/2 Quarts vodka.
Let stand in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 weeks.
Strain into a clean bottle and refrigerate
1 Tablespoon mint, chopped (plus sprig for garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
1) In a blender combine cucumber, ice, bitter chamomile tonic, mint, lime juice and salt and puree.
2) Pour into tumbler, garnish with mint sprig and serve.
from Martha Stewart Living December 2014
1) Toss prosciutto slices and sage leaves with oil, then place on a baking sheet
2) Bake at 375 until they're crisp and the edges curl, about 14 minutes.
Lavender Lemon Tea
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon lavender flowers OR 2 inch sprig of rosemary
1/3 Cup sugar or honey
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1) Boil 2 cups of water and pour over a rosemary OR lavender flowers.
2) Steep for 5-8 minutes and then remove herbs.
3) Add sugar or honey and stir to dissolve.
4) Pour into a 1 quart jar and add lemon juice.
5) Fill the rest of the way with cold water.
6) Chill and taste, adjusting lemon and sweetness to taste.
7) Serve over ice, with a small fresh sprig of rosemary or lavender if you like .
Rosemary and Thyme Candied Pecans: Makes 1 lb
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound pecan halves
sea salt, to finish
1) Preheat an oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line a standard half sheet pan with parchment paper.
2) In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup and sugar. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the herbs, spices and salt.
3) Toss the pecans with the butter mixture in a large bowl, making sure to coat well. Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan.
4) Bake in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until the nuts are glazed and shiny with a deep golden color, around 15 minutes. Upon removing from the oven, sprinkle lightly with sea salt if using and stir again.
5) Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
Herb Infused Feta
From David Lebovitz
1) Start with a clean jar of any size and add chunks of feta. Keep them large, around 2-inches max is good. You can also use rounds of semi-firm chèvre too.
2) As you stack the feta, add lots of branches of thyme and rosemary (don’t be shy), make it spicy with some of those small, dried red chili peppers or chili flakes, add a couple of turns of freshly-ground pepper.
3) Pour olive oil into the jar until the cheese is submerged. Refrigerate. It tastes better and better with each passing day. It is great served in big chunks on a salad platter, scattered over pasta or pizza, crumbled up with fresh tomatoes with some of the tasty oil drizzled over, or even cubed as an appetizer.
The leftover oil is great to toss with whole wheat pasta and whatever else you like with your noodles, as a marinade for olives, roasting potatoes or vegetables, or you can use it as a base for a vinaigrette.
Rosemary Roasted Almonds: makes 2 cups almonds
From Cooking Light via twopeasandtheirpod.com
2 cups whole almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (or crushed cayenne)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash of ground red pepper
1) Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
2) Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until almonds are evenly coated. Arrange nut mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
3) Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them, they can quickly start to darken, and will continue to cook a little after taking them out of the oven. Cool to room temperature.
Peach, Basil, Mozzarella Pizza: Makes 1 pizza
For the crust
For the balsamic reduction
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mozzarella-sliced
4 peaches-thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
1) Prepare the crust as described. While the crust is pre-baking, make the balsamic reduction.
To make the balsamic reduction:
1. While the dough is rising, make the balsamic reduction. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside, and cool to room temperature.
To make the pizza:
1) Remove crust from oven after prebaking for 10 minutes.
2) Lightly brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top the dough with fresh mozzarella rounds, peach slices, and fresh basil. Drizzle the pizza with balsamic reduction.
3) Place the pizza in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and bake the second pizza.
4) Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then cut into slices and serve warm.
Iced Minty Tea: serves 4-6
From Good Food to Share
1 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
4 tea bags (yerba mate, green tea, lemon verbena or chamomile will work)
3 tablespoons honey
1) In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boilover high heat. Remove from heat.
2) When the water stops bubbling, add the mint leaves and the tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes, then removeand discard the tea bags.
3) Stir in the honey until dissolved. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled. Pour over crushed ice in tall glasses and serve.
Spaghetti with Herb Pesto: serves 4-6
From Good Food to Share
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
1 cup parsley, lightly packed
2 tablespoons sage leaves, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or sub apple cider vinegar)
1 clove garlic, coarsly chopped
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts , optional (sub sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup celery leaves, lightly packed
1) Bring large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat.
2) Finely chop the basil, parsley and sage and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and stir to coat herbs with the juice.
3) Combine the garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, add the olive oil slowly until creamy and blended. Pour into the bowl with the herbs.
4) Add spaghetti to the boiling water and cook accordingly. Drain pasta and toss with herb mixture, a pinch of salt and pepper. Top with celery leaves and serve.
From Savory Sweet Life
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced (of coarse almost any of your favorite herbs will work)
1) Combine the butter, garlic and parsley in a small bowl, blending thoroughly.
2) Transfer to a small container and refrigerate until ready to use.
**Goes great with a steak or spread on good crusty rustic bread!
Salted Mint Lassi: Serves 6
From Gourmet Magazine October 2009
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup mint leaves
4 cups plain greek style yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup water
1) Toast cumin seeds in a dry heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
2) Transfer 1 1/2 teaspoon to a food processor or blender with the mint, yogurt, salt, and water.
3) Process until pale green with flecks of mint. Serve over ice and sprinkle the rest of cumin seeds over top as a garnish.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
From Bon Appetit November 2009
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1) Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until blended
2) Cover and chill up to 2 days