Here are some slides from my program "Cooking & Gardening with Herbs". Share this post with your local library or a group you belong to. I'd love to present to them!
Enjoy these herb syrups in lemonade, limeade, cocktails, coffee drinks, tea, drizzled over fruit, and cakes.
1 cup sugar (honey can be used instead of sugar)
1 cup water
1 cup mint
Variations: Prepare as above using different herbs
1 pound ground lamb
3 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup packed chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon cumin ground
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoon coarse salt
Minted Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain whole fat yogurt
2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup lightly packed chopped mint
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Serves 6 as a side dish
1 pound bag frozen Petite Peas (these are the sweetest), thawed
4-6 radishes, sliced thinly (about 1 cup)-if the radishes are small use about 2-3 per person, cut them into quarters
2 Tbs butter
2-3 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
3 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
Kosher salt and Pepper
Add: Sugar snap peas, asparagus-sliced thinly, pea tendrils-cook with the peas.
Top With: Feta cheese, or shaved parmesan cheese.
As a salad with cooked new potatoes, rice, or other cooked whole grain.
On toast with ricotta cheese or mascarpone cheese.
Herbs enhance a recipe far beyond what a sprinkling of salt and pepper can do. They add flavor, color, and give recipes their cultural identity. The best way to become familiar with the flavors of different herbs is to experiment with them. Start with more commonly known herbs that you might grow in your garden or purchase from your local farm stand or grocery store. Taste them raw and then cook with them to identify your favorites. There is no right or wrong way to use herbs, so have fun with them!
How to use herbs in your cooking
Fresh, tender leafed herbs… add bright flavor to your recipes. The tender leaves and lower oil content of these herbs suggest that adding them early in the cooking, diminishes their flavors and aromatics. Add these herbs at the end of your recipes to keep their flavors forward in the dish. I like to use these herbs in larger amounts-tablespoons and small handfuls.
Chives ~ omelets, cooked vegetables, mixed green salads, dressings, seafood
Cilantro ~ Mexican, Southwest, and Asian dishes
Dill ~ Greek dishes, chicken, lamb, salmon, shrimp, vegetables, sauces, dressings
Flat Leaf Parsley ~ All cuisines, meat, poultry, fish; vegetables, pasta, rice
Mint ~ Greek, Asian, and Latin cuisines, fruit salad, pea dishes, soups, roasted vegetables, savory dressings, lamb, fish, chicken
Hardier herbs...add a robust flavor. The oils in these herbs enhance the aromatics of a dish and do well when cooked into the recipe. The flavors of these herbs, fresh or cooked, are strong. Use these herbs in smaller amounts so they do not overwhelm the flavors of a recipe. I cook with these herbs, but do also add them to salad dressings as well. Slicing, chopping, or simply "bruising" them by rubbing them with your fingers will help to release the aromatics.
Basil ~ Italian dishes, tomato-based sauces, pasta, chicken, fish, shellfish, cream soups
Rosemary ~ Italian, Greek cuisines, pasta, vegetables, grilled beef and chicken, casseroles, fish, soups
Sage ~ Italian, Greek cuisines, pork, chicken, duck, soup, vegetable dishes, stuffing
Tarragon ~ French, Italian cuisines, fish, poultry, sauces, green vegetables, shellfish, dressings
Thyme ~ French, Italian, Greek cuisines, chicken; turkey, fish, beans and legumes, vegetable dishes, stews, soups, tomato dishes
Dried Herbs...add a rich flavor to cooked recipes.
Basil ~ Italian dishes, especially tomatoes and tomato sauces, pasta, chicken, fish, shellfish, soup
Bay leaf ~ Italian, French cuisines, stews, tomato dishes, soup, sauces
Chives ~ omelets, dressings
Oregano ~ Greek, Italian, Latin cuisine, sauces, rubs, marinades, dressings, beef, lamb, sauces, soup, stews
Rosemary ~ Italian, Greek cuisines, soups, stews, stuffing, roasted vegetables, grilled beef and chicken
Sage ~ Italian, Greek cuisines, chicken, duck, pork, soups, stews, roasted vegetable dishes, stuffing, sauces
Tarragon ~ French, Italian cuisines, fish, poultry, dressings
Thyme ~ French, Italian, Greek cuisines, chicken, turkey, fish, beans and legumes, roasted vegetable dishes, stews, soups
How to use herbs in your baking
Fragrant herbs will add notable flavor to baked goods. For sweet baking, combine herbs with sugar in a food processor to coat the sugar with the herb oils. For savory baking, chop herbs fine. Basil, lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme are fragrant herbs that will get noticed in any baked item.
The Sweet Side of Herbs
Experiment using herbs in frostings, sauces, and syrups. Steep herbs in cream, cook with fruit, and simmer in sugar syrup to add to your favorite dessert recipes, drinks, and cocktails.
Washing fresh herbs
Hold herbs by the stem and dip into a bowl of cold water several times to allow sand and grit to fall to the bottom. Use a salad spinner or blot herbs dry by rolling gently in a towel.
Storing fresh herbs
Place herbs in a plastic bag. Press out the air, seal closed, and store in the refrigerator. Use within one week for best flavor. Follow this method to store herbs in the freezer as well. Strip the herb leaves from their stems before freezing. Frozen herbs are best when used in cooked recipes. Use frozen herbs within six months.
Storing dried herbs
Store dried herbs in airtight containers away from light and heat (never near the stove). Use dried herbs within one year. Dried herbs should be fragrant; replace them if they are not.
Drying fresh herbs
Cut herbs at the base of their stem. Hang dry for several days or dry in the oven on a cookie sheet for one to two hours at 180 degrees.
Recipe from the wonderful cookbook Small Victories by Julia Turshen
2 large leeks, split in half lengthwise and washed
A handful of fresh Italian parsley sprigs, stems and leaves separated
A handful of fresh mint sprigs, stems and leaves separated
A handful of fresh basil sprigs, stems and leaves separated
6 cups cold water
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups frozen peas
Crème fraiche or sour cream for serving
Chives, chopped for serving
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
8 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
salsa for serving
This recipe is featured in my cookbook "Beautifully Delicious-Cooking with Herbs, and Edible Flowers".
Make dessert or breakfast special with these beautiful crepes. Delicate and light, they provide the perfect landing place for fresh fruit, sweetened yogurt, and honey. I use pansy, calendula, violet, rose, bachelor button, and dianthus petals.
Makes 8 crepes
⅔ cup milk
⅔ cup water
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons additional melted butter (for the pan)
1 cup edible flower petals
Fresh fruit or fruit jam
Herb Crepes with Lemon Yogurt Cream
Replace the edible flowers with freshly chopped herbs and cook crepes as above. Dill with savory ricotta, cheese, or other savory filling. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Herb options: parsley, chive, basil, dill, tarragon, and cilantro. Add smoked salmon or smoked trout to your crepe for a special brunch dish.
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 cups radishes cut in half or in quarters depending on their size.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
2 grinds of fresh black peppercorns
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Anyone can make these pretty little canapés. Will it help you to think of them as little open-faced sandwiches? That is really what they are. They are little sandwiches prettied up. There are a few tips I want to share to help you enjoy the preparation and the decorating of these tasty treats.
Ingredients from the photos above:
Cream cheese, radishes, dill flowers, bachelor button petals, chamomile flowers, Thai basil flowers, dill, borage flowers, marigold petals.
Serves 6 as a side dish
4 ounces sugar snap peas
4 ounces snow peas, sliced on the bias
4 ounces frozen petite peas, thawed
2 scallions, about ½ cup chopped-or equal about of chives, chopped
2 cups pea shoots or tendrils-water cress or mixed greens can be substituted
2 Tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
2 Tbs fresh flat leafed parsley, roughly chopped
optional: 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
5 Tbs cider or red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and Pepper
Ricotta salata or parmesan, shaved
Edible flowers for garnish
Check out my Facebook Live cooking demo of this salad with the 3 variations below: https://www.facebook.com/thecreativefeast/videos/561124908113428/
Make this salad a meal: Hard boiled eggs or poached eggs with roasted potatoes and roasted radishes.
Appetizer: Dress the salad and place on top of toasted bread smeared with ricotta cheese
Pasta: Add the undressed salad to Pasta Carbonara https://www.thecreativefeast.com/recipeblog/pasta-alla-carbonara
Mint is the unsung hero of the herb family. It is such a wonderful addition to a meal any time of year. It always reminds me of spring. I use this vinaigrette as a dressing for side dishes and as a sauce for lamb, seafood, and chicken.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
¾ cup avocado oil or olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup flat leafed parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and ground pepper
How to use this vinaigrette:
Gremolata is a traditional Italian herb paste that is a simple combination of five ingredients: parsley, garlic, lemon, Parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil. With its bright, citrusy flavor, gremolata transforms ho-hum recipes into amazing dishes! Here I’ve combined gremolata with thinly sliced potatoes and roasted them to create a tasty side dish. It’s simple, delicious, and gorgeous!
Low-carb trick-prepare and cook the stacked potatoes one day ahead and refrigerate. The refrigeration changes the structure of the starches in the potatoes to make them "resistant starches". Resistant starches have a reduced absorption rate in our bodies and helps to keep our insulin low. Learn more about this amazing phenomenon RESISTANT STARCH
½ cup loosely packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
2 small minced garlic cloves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 pinch pepper, freshly ground
8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 standard muffin cups generously with nonstick cooking spray.
To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly (about ⅛ of an inch) using a sharp knife or mandolin. Add the potato slices to the gremolata and toss to coat. I use my hands to be sure to coat the potatoes evenly. Stack the potatoes to fill each muffin cup over the rim by about ½ inch. Press the stacked potatoes down firmly. Bake until the tops and edges of the potatoes are browned and the centers are tender when pierced with a fork, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut around each stack with a sharp knife and remove them with a spoon. Serve hot. These can be made one to two days in advance and reheated, covered, in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.
To see Liz's Facebook Live broadcast of this recipe go to her Facebook Page: The Creative Feast
Salmon Spirals with Herb Yogurt Sauce
Beautifully Delicious Cooking with Herbs and Edible Flowers by Liz Barbour
Herb Yogurt Sauce
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallions
2 teaspoons chopped mint
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 whole side salmon (3-3 ½ pounds), skin removed
6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
⅓ cup chopped dill
6 four-inch wooden skewers
Pepper, freshly ground
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and brush lightly with olive oil.
Note: This recipe can be prepared using salmon fillets instead of spirals.
Variation: Place a scallop in the middle of each spiral. Roll the salmon strip around the scallop.
This flavorful combination of fresh herbs can be used to season soups, sauces, stews, dressings, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, sautéed vegetables, and used to create flavorful butters. There is no one recipe for this wonderful condiment. I often choose a flavor profile for my herbes salee based on a dominent flavored herb that I have on hand and choose additional herbs that support that profile. Supportive herbs can be parsley, arugula, spinach, scallion, and celery leaves. I prefer to use a mineral salt, but you can choose any minimally processed course salt that you prefer. Layer the herbs with the salt and let them sit in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Following the 2 weeks, press the herbs to release any water that may be in the mixture. Because the herb salt is salty, use a little at first or 1:1 in recipes when replacing plain salt with your homemade herb salt.
1/2 cup dill or lovage
1 cup flat leafed parsley
1/2 cup celery leaves
1/2 cup chives or scallions
1/2 cup mint, basil, or cilantro
1/2 cup carrot, finely grated
1/4 cup course mineral salt, Himalayan pink salt, kosher salt or other course salt
Herb combinations to try:
I featured this recipe on WMUR's Cook's Corner. Click here to see the segment.
Makes 1 ½ cups
Zest of 2 lemons, chopped
4 small garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in small bowl.
How to serve your gremolata. When using these suggestions, add gremolata to taste.
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp fresh rosemary
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Optional Herbs: lavender, thyme, basil
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tsp lime juice and ½ tsp lime zest or 1/8 tsp lime oil
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
I am hooked on my spiralizer! Easy to use with beautiful results, this new kitchen gadget is a must for anyone who is looking for an easy way to prepare zucchini that can be a healthy replacement to pasta on the dinner plate. Video
3 small zucchini
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh flat leafed parsley, stems removed, roughly chopped
6 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup cold water
Salt and pepper
Optional: Add 1/3 cup toasted almonds, pine nuts, or roasted sunflower seeds w/oil, spinach
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