Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Herb-a-licious

It doesn't seem like it's been three months since I planted my herb garden, but here's what it looked like the day everything went into the ground (minus the rosemary....it went in last year) in mid-April.




This is what it looks like today.


Look how pitiful and bare.



Look at all that goodness now.  I figured I needed to get busy and find ways to use some of this stuff



Lets start with the sage.  I tend to think of using sage more in the Fall with things like butternut squash or  tossing some in some browned butter and pouring over gnocchi or ravioli or even orzo.


But since I've got an abundance, I think I may try making some sage pesto and tossing it over some pasta.



Speaking of pesto......


I've got basil coming out of my you-knw-what!


I've got the Italian variety which I've been snipping at practically daily and using with all of the delicious farm stand tomatoes which are so easy to find right now.


And because I tend to live by the philosophy that more is better, I planted two of these.....boxwood basil.  It's used the same way as the other basil, but it also looks great in the garden.  Grows just like a boxwood so it's great to use for a border plant.  I, of course, just planted mine haphazardly, because I suck at planning.



Like I said...a shitload of basil.  So I've also been using it for a deliciously simple vinaigrette and of all things,  ice cream...yes ice cream (I'll be posting that soon).   What's your favorite way to use your your basil?


I've also got tons and tons of lemon thyme.  I had no idea it grew and spread all over the place like mint. Hubs threatened to take the weed whacker to it if I didn't get it under control (he talks big) so I cut a bunch of it today and made Giada's Lemon Thyme Bars.  If they taste half as good as they smell, I've found a use for all that lemon thyme!  


And I'm thinking that Nigella's Linguini with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms would make a yummy dinner.



Chives are something I also use a lot.  It's also great for vinaigrettes, but I like to toss it into some grilled or roasted potatoes or mix it with some room temperature butter and slather it over some corn-on-the-cob.  YUM!



And since we love tilapia, I can't wait to try this.




And then there's the summer savory.  I don't recall ever using it, so I'm not sure why I planted it other than wanting to be exotic.....which I'm not.  But I feel like I am now!


But it's doing fabulous, so I went searching and found this vinaigrette recipe (Why does anyone buy bottled dressings anymore?  Making your own is so easy and you get to control the sodium and sugar content.)

Three Onion-and-Summer Savory Vinaigrette
1/2 standard vinaigrette
1 shallot lobe, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 T freshly chopped summer savory leaves
Combine all and use to dress neutral ingredients. 


 This sounds like it would be great on potatoes, chicken or even fish.


Another one I don't use much is tarragon, however it does make an appearance in my favorite chicken salad recipe.


And don't these look like delicious cocktail party fare?



If y'all have any other suggestions for ways to make use of all these delicious herbs, I'd love to hear them!

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