Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Selection: Choose herbs that look fresh and clean with no discoloration or damage. The goal is to protect the natural oils that are responsible for giving herbs their flavors and aromas. Anything that prematurely crushes the herb leaves is going to reduce the oils. Storage: Wash the herbs in cool (not cold) water right before … Read more

Basil Basics

If you haven’t started to grow basil in your garden or on your deck, what are you waiting for? Basil is an easy plant to grow, with its only major requirements being full sun and consistent water. Its delicious flavor will make it the most useful herb in your summer kitchen. Some Basics: Plant in … Read more

Whipped Herb Butter

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup room temperature butter, salted or unsalted, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and about 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh herbs with a hand held mixer, stopping and scraping the bowl and beaters often, until well blended. Add a twist of freshly ground pepper, too.

Fresh Herb Mayonnaise

To 1 cup of your favorite mayonnaise, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate at least until next day or for up to 1 month. That turkey sandwich or your favorite mayo based potato salad will never be the same! Need a … Read more

Cilantro Pesto

2 garlic cloves, finely minced ¾ cup finely chopped cilantro 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice ¾ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse sea salt ¾ cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil In a food processor combine the garlic and cilantro. Pulse to mince and combine; stop and scrape sides. Add lime … Read more

Cilantro Lime Dressing

2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro zest of 1 lime ¼ cup fresh lime juice zest of 1 orange ¼ cup fresh orange juice 2 teaspoons apple cider or white wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon local honey ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ cup extra virgin olive oil In a food processor combine the cilantro, zest and … Read more

Spinach-stuffed Tomatoes

¾ lb. spinach 8 medium size tomatoes 1 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided use 2 Tbsp. dry breadcrumbs 1/8 tsp. nutmeg Pick through spinach leaves, discarding stems and any yellow or wilted leaves. Plunge spinach into a large quantity of cold … Read more

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 large cloves garlic, sliced as thinly as possible 2 lb. cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, very thinly sliced In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and garlic over … Read more

Basil Pesto

4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts ¼ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves 1 small clove garlic Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Put the basil, pine nuts, parsley, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. … Read more

Tomato Basil Soup

3 Tbsp. butter 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, shredded 4 to 5 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups) ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves ¾ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. black pepper 2 cups chicken broth Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the … Read more

Peppered Peppers

2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper 2 tsp. ground cumin 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1” squares 2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1” squares 1/3 cup dry white wine Sea salt … Read more

White Beans with Roasted Peppers

You can eat this bean dish cold, as a salad, or hot with pasta, polenta or rice. Don’t forget to use your fresh basil in this recipe as well. 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded 1 Tbsp. olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained ½ cup chopped … Read more