How to use and preserve herbs

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Compliments of: The Charmed Kitchen

www.thecharmedkitchen.com

Basil Butter Cookies with Lemon Glaze

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 ¼ c. flour
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. salt

Glaze

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 T. lemon juice- or enough to make a thin glaze.

 

Beat sugar and butter together until fluffy and then beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture. Chill dough at least a couple of hours. Roll dough into ¾-1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375 –degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will flatten somewhat. Make glaze and dip the top of the cooled cookies in the glaze. Glaze will harden a little as the cookies set. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

 

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

  • 2 T. butter or oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 c. fresh English peas, pea pods (sliced), or sugar snaps (sliced)
  • ¼ –½ c. fresh lovage leaves, chopped fine
  • 3 c. chicken stock or veggie stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. sour cream

 

Heat butter or oil in medium saucepan. Sauté onion until tender. Add peas, lovage, stock, and salt and pepper. Cook until peas are the desired tenderness, about 3 – 7 minutes. Puree soup in batches until smooth. Place sour cream in a small bowl. Ladle 1 cup of hot soup into the sour cream, and stir to smooth. Pour this mixture into the soup and cook, barely simmering, until soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with lovage sprigs. Serves 3 – 4.

 

Note: You can also serve this soup cold.

 

 

Pesto Sauce

  • 1 c. tightly packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts, sunflower seeds or walnuts
  • 1 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

 

Combine all ingredients, except the cheese, in a blender and mix until smooth. Stir in the cheese and toss over hot, cooked pasta or use as a sauce on meat and poultry. Sauce will keep a few days in the fridge and makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 1 lb. of cooked pasta.

 

Pizza Zucchini

 

  • 1 T. oil
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 3-4 c. sliced zucchini or other summer squash, trimmed and sliced
  • 1-2 c. tomato sauce, or 3 c. diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1-2 t. pizza seasoning, or to taste
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese

 

Sauté onion in oil until tender add pepper and mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes more. Add squash and cook until tender. Add sauce or tomatoes, seasonings and salt if desired. Heat through, turn down heat and add cheese. Cover and allow to cook on low until cheese melts. Serve as is, over rice or pasta or in pita bread. Serves 3-4.

 

 

Pizza Seasoning

  • 3 T. dried basil
  • 2 T. dried oregano
  • 1-T. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. dried minced onion
  • 1-T. fennel seeds
  • 1 t. garlic powder

 

Combine all ingredients and store in a cool, dark, dry place.

To use: Add 1-2 teaspoons per cup of tomato sauce to make pizza sauce. Also good sprinkled on bagels with sauce and cheese or added to any tomato or pepper dish. Also makes a great cheese ball. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the seasoning with a little diced sweet red pepper, a diced green onion and a few slices of cooked, crumbled bacon or turkey bacon with 8-oz. cream cheese.

 

Chicken Salad with Fines Herbes

  • 2 whole chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) cooked, cooled and cubed
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, preferably tiny French-type, blanched and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 c. diced celery
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1-2 T. Fresh Fines Herbes (see below) or 1-2 t. dried

 

Combine Chicken with vegetables in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper

Then add mayonnaise and sour cream to desired consistency and stir in Fines Herbes to desired taste, Chill well before serving. Serves 4-6.

 

Fines Herbes

  • 1/4 c. parsley
  • 2 T. chervil
  • 2 T. chives
  • 2 T. tarragon

 

When possible use small amounts of fresh herbs for best flavor and freeze the extra. While most herbs are fine used fresh or dried, chervil really loses its flavor if dried. If you are mixing dried and fresh remember that dried are more concentrated. One tablespoon of fresh is the same as 1 teaspoon of dried. Fines Herbes are used in egg dishes, with seafood and with poultry, especially busy.

 

 

The 10 Rules of Cooking with Herbs

 

  1. Herbs should enhance without overwhelming the rest of the food. Season lightly, you can always add more.
  2. Don’t overcook fresh herbs. Long cooking reduces their flavor. Add near the end of cooking or sprinkle over food at the table for best flavor.
  3. When substituting fresh herbs for dry remember that the flavor in dry herbs is concentrated. One teaspoon of dry herbs is the same as 1 tablespoon of fresh. 3:1.
  4. Buy herbs at busy stores, where a good turnover should provide fresher herbs. Sometimes bargain priced herbs are too old.
  5. Fresh herbs should always smell like, well, herbs. Herbs that have no smell are too old and will lack flavor, too. Musty smelling herbs should also be discarded.
  6. Sprinkle herbs in your hand or in a spoon, not directly over simmering food. Moisture from cooking food can get in your open jar and cause mold.
  7. Store herbs in a cool, dry and dark place for longest life.
  8. Store red seasonings like red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper and paprika in the fridge to retain best flavor, especially after opening.
  9. Buy herbs in reasonably whole condition, not powdered. They will retain flavor longer in bigger pieces. Crumble just before use.
  10. Extend the garden season by freezing and drying herbs for later use. Label and date and use within a year of drying, freezing or buying.

 

How to preserve herbs/basil:

www.thecharmedkitchen.com/easy-ways-to-preserve-basil

www.thecharmedkitchen.com/lovage-the-celery-herb

 

More herb recipes:

Flavored Butters

Tomato and Basil Breadsticks

Lavender Vanilla Shortbread

Strawberry and Lavender Ice Cream

Herbs de Provence

Homemade Breakfast Sausage