Herbs in a Healthy Home helpful tips and recipes " " Page 1 of 113
by Earla Dawn Legault
Herbs in a Healthy Home By Earla Legault!
“How do you use herbs to cook with, Earla?” asked my Mom. Our daughter Charmaine wondered what herbs could be grown on her deck. When my niece Sarah asked, “Auntie, what herbs can I plant in a pot for my apartment?” I determined it was time to create a book about herbs. Sharing recipes and helpful hints about herbs, the little joys in my life, could be a fun undertaking. I’d been working at simplifying my life and one area was reducing both the number of cookbooks and loose recipes I collected over the years. Adapting my favourite recipes to include more herbs from our garden, I spent the 2009/10 winter season culling through recipes collected for over 30 years. I read through the herb books weeded from our overstuffed bookshelves and wrote down my thoughts about herb gardening. I quizzed my husband Michel about the composting system he had created for our family. The information gathered and the recipe collection I created is the basis of this book. As a photographer I created a website for sharing my art and decided to include herb recipes and gardening information in my blog. During that time, three of my ‘Healing Chick’ friends, Monica, Jinder and Debbie, approached me about learning how to start growing their own herbs. Thanks to them, I clarified thoughts for novice gardeners, especially when it comes to using your senses to select and use herbs. Throughout my life I have had many women who have shared their love of food with me, and in turn, our family. Two that are dear to me - Ana who is a Macrobiotic Practitioner taught me the basics of Macrobiotic Living, which means ‘Great Life’. Theresa, is my inspiration for adapting many of my recipes to meatless. As one of the best cooks I know, Theresa prepared mountains of veggies when feeding her children and ours. She is my gluten free, domestic goddess. I am grateful to the past readers of earlier versions: Carmen for asking, “What is stopping you from finishing your book?” and Carol, whose patience and statement “90% of it is all here Earla” helped me pursue my quest to see this to publication. Both gave a BIG reassuring nod to my writing. I worked very intentionally with their help to finish the vegetarian version of this book created for our son André. Throughout this time while playing in the kitchen and photographing our garden I maintained a website for my garden photography. There I would blog each Sunday during the growing season, posting a seasonal recipe and little story about using the herb. Unfortunately this blog was hacked and I lost all the information posted. Fortunately many of the anecdotes and observations found their way into this book. During a 2012 springtime visit to southern Spain I delighted in my third holiday to again spend time with my sister Leigh-Ann. She first moved to the Andalusian coastal city of Nerja to learn the Spanish language then settled in to live there. I used Michel’s and my trip to perfect, then add recipes from the region to create the Spanish version of this book for my sister. Later that summer, I asked Leigh-Ann to edit the remaining chapters
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of this book in its current form. My plan was to get the manuscript ready for an Ebook publication. After returning home, we sisters spent many a morning discussing long distance the venture. We were happy we could connect through thousands of miles to do a project ‘together’ again. Our last ‘sista’ project together was a great collaboration that culminated many years of fun and happy memories to each of us. My sister was not able to finish the task that she set out to accomplish in helping me complete with this book. I lost a large part of my joy in my life when Leigh-Ann died in December of 2013. It is in my sister’s voice I now hear “Finish your book Earla.” I bravely came back to the project in the spring of 2016. Here in Harrison Hot Springs, I happily met a woman, also newly retired, whose interests included herbs, the written word, and most importantly kayaking. Our home overlooks the Mighty Miami River that meanders through our village and it is that river that has helped to foster my friendship with Pauline, my appreciation of nature and healing process. Pauline encouraged me to share my writing when we joined a local New Horizons senior writing project and started a small online writers group. Our mutual appreciation of my new favourite herb, lemon verbena ensures we’ll have future collaborations be it in our gardens or on our river. Though the past few years have been filled with both an abundance of joy and deep grief, nature continued to inspire me by bringing peace into my life. Slowly I began to delve into my herb garden and discover new ways to enjoy herbs. I continued to meet people that would like to learn more about how to use the herb plants they grew. This book is chiefly about herbs and their culinary uses however I have included chapters on how to use edible herbal flowers in familiar family recipes. In sharing one of my life’s little joys herbs, it is my intention to ‘give of service’ and to share my love of nature with others. When you come to enjoy eating fragrant rosemary in your roasted veggies, seek to split up a clump of chives for a gardening friend, or like to linger over a refreshing morning cup of lemon balm tea - I will have succeeded. Here’s to making new memories with family and friends in your own home and garden, Earla Dawn Legault January 2016
Gardening is one of the slowest of arts, asking patience and foresight, and some simple manual labour in exchange for its ephemeral beauties. What the gardener plants in spring is not so much seeds and seedlings as hope. – Jennifer Bennet and Turgid Forsyth, The Harrowsmith Annual Garden.
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Table of Contents Herbs in a Healthy Home"
Table of Contents"
Insights into Growing Herbs"
Compost : Natureâ€™s Fertilizer"
Harvest and Storage of Herbs"
Herbs in the Kitchen: Tips for Using Herbs in Recipes"
Sustainability in the Kitchen"
Herbs in a Healthy Home Recipes "
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Mixed Herb Recipes"
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Connection with gardens even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer. â€“ Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden
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Insights into Growing Herbs Buying! Before you decide on which herbs to grow, go into your garden or stand on your patio or deck. Think about where you intend to plant your herbs. Observe the space for sunny, dry areas and be aware of where low shady spots may translate into wet areas. Selecting a space ahead of time will help you decide where to plant your herbs. Most herbs originally come from the Mediterranean. Heat loving herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, and lavender like full sun and soil that is dry and not overly rich (which means it is not very well fed with fertilizer). Basil likes sun and rich, moist soil. Herbs such as chives, cilantro, dill, and parsley like soil that is rich and moist and will grow in light or part shade. For this book, I’ve selected herbs I have found to be tried and true—they grow well in BC, they are perennial, and they are attractive to the senses and most importantly they taste good. With your recipes or meals you have enjoyed in mind, contemplate the herbs you gravitate towards. Begin using all your senses to guide you in your decision on what herbs to grow. Intuition! Start the process of buying herbs with your sixth sense: intuition. Trust yourself to reflect on the time, energy, and money you wish to devote to growing herbs, although it doesn’t have to cost much in the way of time or money to grow herbs. Decide if you want to obtain a few herbs for free from friends or to go ‘gung-ho’ at a garden store. Forty dollars could buy you about eight to ten different herbs; if bought from a reputable grower, herbs will cost about $4 - $5 each. This is a good investment as most herbs are perennials, which means they will grow back each year. My friend Debbie had me practically on speed dial for a while when shopping for her new herb garden. I suggested she select a few plants or flavours she's familiar with and then add a couple of herbs that are brand new to her senses. Doing this, she'll continue to enjoy favourites and, at the same time, learn how to use new herbs so she literally ”grows” with her garden. I did that with tarragon one year and now I use it regularly. Contemplate the fun to be had, the recipes you’d like to recreate at home, and the success you’d like to achieve while making your herb shopping list. I enjoyed connecting with Debbie over the phone a couple of times when she’d either confirmed with me about a choice in a plant or asked a few questions. It was nice to hear she was using her own initiative to ‘go for it’ herb-wise and then to go to her house this past summer to see her beautiful pots beside her front door. It was this friend who kept asking, ‘when are you going to sell that herb book?’ Thanks for your enthusiasm Debbie! Like many of my gardening friends, you inspired me to put this into fruition. Sight! Page 6 of 113
When visiting other people’s gardens, or out for walking in your neighbourhood, what plants are you attracted to? Do the creeping thymes that grow low catch your eye, or do you imagine a long rosemary border in your yard? This helps you visualize your own garden. When in the store, read plant labels for height and how much the plant could spread. Before you buy a herb, observe the look of a plant. See if it appears healthy or stressed; dried out or root bound. Give the plant a thorough check-up for bugs. If little critters crawl on it or the leaves have chew holes, pass on the plant or even the store. You’ll want to avoid bringing a bug or disease into your garden by being vigilant.
Touch! While strolling through a friend’s yard, are there herbs you run your hand along to touch? I have spent many an hour in a garden center, touching all herbs to get the feel and in turn, often the scent of them. You can reflect on whether an herb ‘touches’ your heart. Does lemon balm remind you of a relative’s garden? Ask yourself, are there some plants that remind you of walkabouts with your grandma or a dear friend? Buy that herb and you’ll create new memories to share with others.
Scent! Rub a leaf to bring out a stronger scent from the herb. Rolling a rosemary branch in your fingers or rubbing a leaf of tarragon will help to ensure you are getting the plant you want. I do this with every herb I buy, particularly in garden centers where labels can be deceiving or down right wrong. For instance, oregano is often labeled incorrectly as marjoram. When picking herbs from my garden, I'll give them a rub to contemplate if they will go well with a dish I’m preparing. For example, I do that when I step into our herb garden to decide what would be good in our scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Taste! Make sure it is the right plant by eating it. Does lemon thyme really taste like lemon? Which parsley variety, Flat Leaf or Italian, do you enjoy for your style of cooking? If you want to try the 100 Mile Diet way of eating, buy herbs that can recreate an exotic taste and find out for yourself if lemon verbena can be a substitute for lemon flavouring. Find out of if cinnamon basil really does taste like cinnamon. Don't be shy. I will always pinch off a petite leaf in a store's plant pot and eat it to make sure it is the flavour of the herb I like.
Hearing! Yes, listening is a sense that comes into play as well with herbs. Ask and then hear the answer. A reputable grower in your neighbourhood or town knows their plants and will answer any questions you have to ask—maybe even some you don’t yet know to ask. Listen to other herb shoppers when ‘out and about’, or friends that talk of a herb they especially like to use. Spend a few extra dollars on a quality herb plant from a local Page 7 of 113
nursery owner who grew it, especially if it is a perennial, and you and your garden will never go wrong. Greatest gift of a garden is the restoration of the five senses. - Hanna Rion
" Collecting! Buy plants if you don’t want to wait for them to develop from seed. However, you don’t have to buy all your herbs from a store to a have a good selection. When deciding on herbs you’d like to grow, first ask friends and family if they have extras. Gardeners love to share, particularly when it is time to separate their perennial herbs, the ones that come back and multiply with each spring. Most herbs listed in this book are easily shared with others. When you have your list made, “shop” at a friend’s yard. When you visit, look for volunteers, the little ‘babies’ that sneak up between walking stones and edges. Make a date with your friend to come back to dig them up when they are taller. When my friend Rosemary was creating her garden, I arranged for us to collect plants from several of my friends who needed to thin theirs out. That worked out well for Rosemary, who was building a garden from scratch, and the gardeners who had overgrown perennials. For years each spring, I sent an email to friends saying that I have plants to split up. I also asked them to reply if they too had overgrown plants to share. This works out well. I was able to give away herbal plants I had too many of one year and adopted heartshaped tomato plants whose seeds originated from the Ukraine. Thanks to Judy P., I had a global garden! Usually, when you are as keen as I am, gardening friends like Rosemary will see that look in your eye or hear the lust in your voice and say, “Do you want one of those?” I have a few friends who gave me a plant and I ended up giving them back part of this original plant when theirs failed to make it through a winter.
Compost : Nature’s Fertilizer! In general, you don’t need to fertilize if you have and use a composter. Michel organizes two compost piles, one for household veggies that break down relatively quick in a season or two and one for yard waste that break down to soil over a longer period of time. We don’t put eggshells or anything cooked in the kitchen compost as this material attracts rodents Sunflower seeds are very slow to break down as well. When I asked Michel what he does to mix it up he told me to “use a pitch fork once a month, not so much in the winter.” He also told me to “take the top soil off, remove bigger items like branches or stems, and go underneath.” That is where the ‘black gold’ is.
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Family! My early memories of a garden is walking with my grandma in her garden. Today I can easily conjure up the scent of her tomatoes in the morning sun. My siblings, cousins and I all agree that raspberries remind us of Grandma Mary’s Winnipeg garden. If you like gardens, share the pleasure with your family. Have your children bring in herbs for salad. As the children get older and take an interest in cooking, take time to share what herbs go with what dishes. My friend Nikki reminded me about cooking with children. She kept an open mind when her Frazer was young. “He would tell me which herbs he liked in different dishes, which inspired me to try his taste combos.”
Names! There is a system used for the official names of herbs. Most plants have three names: 1st generic name – which genus or family it is from 2nd species name 3rd a natural variety or cultivar (selective breeding) cultivated by a plant breeder ** It is important to know what you are eating. It is especially important to know the exact name for all edible flowers and that they have not been chemically treated.
Pests! To prevent pests, I have learned not to let plants become so dry as to stress them out. When plants are under stress, it seems that’s when they get sick or become infested with insects such as aphids. I have been lucky not to have many ”bad” bugs in my herb garden. Once or twice I have brought home plants that have been infected with aphids. I didn’t notice until it was too late to dig them up and take them back to the grower. Herbs do not seem to be affected by many pests, I have only seen a solitary slug crawling in the thyme or munching on parsley. I pluck them off to throw in the river for the ducks and make sure I rinse all my herbs well before eating.
Planting! If the herb has already been outside, plant it on an overcast day, preferably as soon as you bring it home. If it has been sheltered in an indoor retail space, let the herb acclimatize before planting it in the garden. This is called “hardening it off.” For three or four days, shelter the herb away from direct sun during the day and bring it inside at night. This gradual shift from indoors to outdoors is a safe and gentle way to help a herb become acclimatized and ready for its permanent garden home. Page 9 of 113
Reading the directions on a plant label ensures you give the herb plenty of space to grow— above and below the soil. When you decide on the spot, here’s a technique I learned from Alice Grau, a woman I volunteered with in Green Legacy, an environmental group we helped start in our area. Alice’s mother taught her this planting method, and I have used it for every plant I make room for in my garden: • Dig a hole bigger than is needed for the root ball of the plant. • Fill the hole with water up to the top of the hole and wait until it drains. • Put the plant gently in the hole, so as not to disturb the roots. Add water again and let it drain. • Add soil to the hole, gently placing soil around the root. Pat the soil down around the stem, and water once more. This technique seems to start the herb off right; I have been doing it for over twenty years and it has always served us well, whether we have planted herbs, flowers, shrubs, or trees. We transplanted over 300 plants to our yard here in Harrison using this method and lost only one plant; good odds for being a hot summer that year in 2006. Never pull out the plant from the pot by the stem; instead, turn it upside down and gently tap the plant out. Water well until new growth is seen and then only once a week unless it is a herb that likes to be moist. Herbs like good drainage; you’ll often hear they don’t like “soggy feet.” Most herbs are from the Mediterranean area and like it dry, warm and not a lot of nutrients in the ground. Herbs do best in full sun – location is everything! When planting, give herbs plenty of space by not crowding it against other plants. Make sure air can circulate around the individual plants. Like all living things, herbs need room to grow—an important attribute of healthy living whether you are a child or a chive.
Pots ! Outdoor plants in pots need water more often and a regular feed of soluble fertilizer since you'll be continually flushing the nutrients from the soil (clay, sand, compost). Always use the largest container you can afford for planting in so you don’t have to water as often. You can successfully combine herbs in a large pot. For instance, basil, oregano, tarragon, mint, and chives are an excellent mix. You can also add herbs like rosemary, lavender, thyme, and marjoram to a pot with lilies and carnations. There are many resources available with different combinations. Snipping and using your herbs often to encourage full and bushy growth is important in pots even more than if a pot is in the ground. Cutting back a herb ensures there is good air circulation. Page 10 of 113
Thyme, oregano, parsley and mints grew on our covered south facing deck despite the lack of direct sunshine. I have been successful with basil, mint, and lemon balm on our north facing deck. I like both these spots for the herbs to be close at hand for garnish, a little je ne sais pas ce qui or when a little surprise in a recipe is needed. Over the years I have experimented with bringing herbs inside to enjoy in winter. I have learned to use clay pots as they are most like mother earth, and these pots should be at least eight inches around circumference. I’ve also learned that you need to replicate the normal living conditions of the herbs to be successful. • Heat: Warm in the day, cool at night. Oregano did fine in the garage. • Light: Grow light/full spectrum, six to eight hours so right near a window is best. • Moisture: Using a humidifier seems unrealistic. A rosemary plant dried out so I know just leave it in the ground and mulch it well. • Air circulation: Make sure there is space around the plant so any warm air is circulated. Have a sunny windowsill where herbs will thrive; a southeast window would be perfect if it gets five hours of light a day. Water sparingly and feed once a month Once you see new growth, you can start using your herbs. Chives, basil, lavender, parsley, mint, oregano and thyme are good choices for indoor herbs because they don’t grow as big.
Propagating ! With most herbs my rule of thumb is to obtain a herb plant, rather than start them by seed, particularly if you want to enjoy the same herb the year you plant it. Au volontiers is a good way to describe herbs that do not stay in one place. You will soon learn which herbs become volunteers if for example, you don’t: deadhead the flowers - lemon balm contain in an area and spread - mint trim back- oregano I consider volunteers are part of the fun of plants and a good excuse to share my plants with friends and family. A time saving technique (and a sustainable act) when weeding is to have a dozen small pots with drainage holes handy. Cover the hole with a leaf so that dirt doesn’t fall out right away but water will flow through the pot. Fill each one with an inch of gravel then half fill it with garden soil. Hollow the pot out in the middle with enough space for your awaiting herb’s roots. Use a wheelbarrow to carry these pots, and use them to plant the volunteers you remove from your garden. Having the pots handy when you are weeding will save you time if you know what you want to give away. Or better yet, phone or email a friend Page 11 of 113
before you dig them up and say, “I have extra __insert herb name___ in my garden. Are you interested?” This technique saves the volunteer herb from ending up in the compost pile. But if it does, that is okay too; it will nurture the next plant that thrives from your compost heap’s soil. Fall is a good time to divide plants. Plants like chives need to be split up every so often or they lose their flavour. Invite a friend over who has enjoyed your herbs and tell them its a BYOP—Bring Your Own Pot—and shovel to visit. Splitting perennials can be fun.
" A good bed of pot-herbs is essential. I would bring out seeds of Balm, Thyme, and Sweet Basil, for these are rarely met with here.- Sage, Savoury, Mint and Peppermint, are easily got. - The Canadian Settler’s Guide by Catharine Parr Trail, 1855
Shopping! Go through your garden in early spring to see what survived and what didn’t. Then go through the recipes you want to try this year. Make your herb shopping list and head to the garden store. Start with a few good plants and build on your successes. If you can’t make a decision, start with a small number that you are attracted to when flipping through cookbooks or walking in others’ gardens. The eleven herbs I have in this book are proven to grow in the lower mainland of British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada - zone 7/8. Here are guidelines to look for in a healthy plant when shopping, either from the store, a garage sale, or your friend’s herb garden: • New shoots or leaves show that the herb is healthy. • No sign of insects shows that the plant has had a healthy start in the pot. • Turn the pot over and look for roots coming out. If there are a few stragglers, investigate if the plant is severely root bound. I have had luck with buying these at half price and then separating the roots before planting. • Broken leaves or stems can indicate that the plant hasn’t been looked after or that it is vulnerable to disease.
Soil! Dirt is soil that has no nutrients in it. It’s suitable only for walking on. You won’t have much luck growing anything in soil that looks grey with no recognizable attribute of true soil. Good soil is key to growing a healthy herb. My first forays into gardening included trying to grow flowers right beside a gravel driveway or in newly overturned lawn. It didn’t take long for my failed attempts to come to light and I began learning that it takes good soil to grow healthy plants.
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You might be lucky enough to inherit a plot of ‘black gold’ like my brother Alan did in Victoria. He bought an older home with an established garden - a great place to grow herbs. He’s maintained his ‘gold’ by continuing to feed the soil kitchen compost and leaf mulch. I’ve learned that the best soil is a combination of peat moss, perlite/vermiculate, and potting soil. If you haven’t yet started to compost and have the room in your yard, you could think about doing so - especially if you have young children in your lives or a community that does not allow compostables in the garbage.
Sustainability! To me, sustainability in an herbal world can be described with just a few words: organic, local, enjoy, and share. Sharing your herbs with others may get them hooked and start them on their own herb-growing journey. Do not fall into the vortex of a non-organic life. Roundup, a chemical used to get rid of weeds, has no place where robins or relatives visit. It’s a mindset to go from being addicted to chemicals to rid your garden of weeds to knowing you are getting aerobic exercise from weeding the garden. Chemicals are for chumps and I’m glad I learned very early on it is foolish to spend money on a substance that will bring harm. If I have learned anything about plants in my thirty plus years playing in gardens, collecting or buying herbs locally can almost guarantee a healthy herbal garden. What can be more local than seeds from your own garden? Sharing seeds you’ve saved from year to year can be fun, too. Seeds from chives and basil are easily saved. Allow them to come to flower, cut then hang up side down with an elastic to dry. I have placed a small brown paper bag over the bunch to capture the seeds as they ripen. Save in a cool dark place. I have put them in a labeled envelopes and saved them in an old pottery jar. Sustainability can also mean being cognizant of your consumption of resources and being intentional with your actions regarding the little things, i.e. using the water in a bowl you have rinsed your herbs in to water your plants in the flowerbed. Another whole area of sustainability is utilizing foods grown close to you. The farm I affectionately call the Red Pepper Connection on the outskirts of Agassiz sells five pounds of beautiful tasty red peppers. Considered “seconds” to stores this farm supplies peppers to, these bags hang just outside their greenhouses. For three out of four seasons we enjoy these local greenhouse gems. Sustainability is also enjoying your garden as you would a well loved hobby. Take time to mulch in the fall, tend in the spring, enjoy in the summer, and harvest in the fall. The cycle of life is so evident in a garden. This is what I call sustaining joy.
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Many herbs we can grow originated in the Mediterranean so most of these plants like it dry. I think of that when I see the lavender that thrives in the part of my garden that is sheltered from the rain. Water deep once a week, preferably in the morning, and your herbs will be fine. I have taken to placing a tuna can in the herb garden when the sprinkler is on. When there is an inch of water, we know we have watered enough. I can not say that I use anything with regularity to feed my herbs, though if you are growing them close to the house you might want to try the technique my flower-loving mother-in-law Madeleine told me she uses when watering her plants. If you have any left over tea in a teapot, fill it with water and use that liquid to feed your plants. It will be like a compost tea and ensure your herbs are healthy while you harvest and use them throughout their growing season.I think this tea drink and not overwatering my plants are two ways I keep our plants healthy and happy. All gardens are a form of autobiography. - Robert Dash
Weeding! Bête noire. The direct translation is black beast. I had to look it up when the term was used in the book Diary of a French Herb Garden to describe weeds. Persistent weeds can be irritating however before you get too upset about them, first ask yourself, “Is the plant a true weed? Or is this just a volunteer; a plant that showed up in the wrong place?” Boiling water poured into areas of weeds is thought to be a good way to get rid of weeds. A better option is to bend down and pluck it out by the root. As we grow older I am continually thinking that weeding is another form of exercise. To make weeding easier, invest in a foam kneeling pad and use it as regularly as you would any other garden tool. When you are older you will be happy you saved your knees for tennis, running, or more gardening. My last words regarding pesky plants that show up where they are not wanted: Rome wasn’t weeded in a day. Make sure you stay healthy by weeding in short spurts. Becoming subservient to the perfect garden leaves no time for reading in that lounge chair!
Harvest and Storage of Herbs Begin to harvest your herbs when you see the first flowers bloom. Pinch them off to use in a recipe or garnish; this one action will help to keep the plant more contained. By harvesting with regularity, the herb will not go to seed, which signifies the beginning of the end of the life cycle of the plant. Always harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves. Your pallet and eyes deserve this. Compost leaves that have started to wilt or have been nibbled on. Whether fresh herbs come from your garden or the local green grocer, their leaves and stems all need to be thoroughly washed to remove any soil or bugs. There are two ways to wash your herbs, depending on how you harvest or buy them. Page 14 of 113
With long stemmed herbs such as rosemary or mints fill a bowl with water and wash by the bunch. Shake excess water off and spread on a towel. Gently blot and allow the herb to dry on another towel or a cookie rack. Moisture will evaporate naturally to dry the herbs for storage. For herbs with short stems or leaves such as thyme or oregano I use a salad spinner. Fill the container with water to rinse them off. Pour off the leftover water to hydrate your plants then give the herbs a good spin. You can store herbs to use fresh in several ways. One method is to wrap them in a wet cloth towel then place the towel in a plastic bag or in a plastic covered container. Refrigerated, the herbs will stay fresh about a week. My favourite time to bring herbs into the house is after a fresh rain - no need to wash them well. My favorite way to bring herbs into the kitchen if I know I will use them in a day or two is to quickly rinse them off well under the tap then plunk them into a deep glass filled with water. Change the water daily to keep the herbs as fresh as possible. Keeping herbs handy and in sight on the kitchen counter, within easy reach … for inspiration, is one way you are guaranteed to use your herbs.
Drying Herbs! There are whole books devoted to drying herbs and depending on the plant, there are several ways to dry a herb for later use. You want to make sure they have no bugs, are clean and free of spoiled leaves. For herbs that are long stemmed such as oregano, parsley and tarragon I gather the handful of each herb, place them in a bowl of water. If inside I use a salad spinner to semi- dry them. If outside, I hold onto the herb stems tight and swish them in the air so the water flings off. Hanging is one way I first began drying herbs and is now the technique when I just have a few herbs to dry. Bunch the foliage loosely together then gather stems with elastic band. An elastic works really well because it tightens as the moisture in the plant evaporates. Place on a clothes hanger by dangling it on the flat cross bar then hang in a cool dark location with good air circulation for about a week. One quick way to dry some herbs is to drape a branch such as rosemary over a plate for a couple days. If you have loose leaves such as basil, leaving them to air dry on a plate works fine too if you are going to use them soon. If not, try using a slotted cake rack so that air is circulating - the key to successful drying. If you are hanging small herbs, like thyme and their short stems fall out of the string as they shrivel, try tying them together tightly together in the middle of the bunch so they'll dry without falling apart. When you are serious about ‘putting by’ your herbs, you’ll need to invest in a dehydrator. Ours is used throughout the growing season as I have found I have up to
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three or four yields of herbs when I spread the harvest throughout the growing season, as opposed to only collecting herbs to dry in the fall. Store dried leaves in an air tight container out of bright light. I place dried leaves into clean leftover jars. Label the packaging with the name of the herb and if need be, the part of the plants dried and the year. Often herbs look the same when dried so this one step is important. If you like to have fun with pressed flowers try your hand at drying herbs between two sheets of paper in a heavy book. I have tried that to use them in winter when we’d least expect a herb to pop up. Dried herbs will keep the taste of summer alive in the kitchen throughout the longest winter. – Taylor’s Pocket Guide to Herbs
Freezing Herbs! I’ve read that the best herbs for freezing are those that have a high water content like chives and that lose their flavour when dried. After washing herbs, pat them dry and leave out for a bit to ensure the moisture is gone. For small batches, lay them on a plate and put it in the freezer. I do this in batches and then store in small bags or glass containers. Always date and name the herb so you can use them in the order you harvested them. For larger amounts, spread individual leaves on a cookie sheet to freeze the individual leaves flat. This prevents the herbs from freezing together into a brick. Cover and place the tray of leaves into the freezer. Another method is to put two to three individual leaves or a spoonful of chopped herbs in an ice cube tray. Fill the tray half way with water, making sure the leaves are submerged as best you can. Once the ice cubes are half frozen, finish filling the tray with water. The leaves will no longer float and will be surrounded with water. Place the tray back into the freezer to freeze solid. Once the ice cubes are frozen, remove them from the tray and store in zip closure bags. Take time to label the bags as it is often hard to tell what the herb is - even when frozen. When creating a soup or stew, toss the whole ice cube into your favorite dish— there is no need to thaw herbs before using. Ice cubes of basil, mint, tarragon, and thyme could be added to sauces in a marinade or soup.
" The main purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest kind of earthly pleasure. - Gertrude Jekyll
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Herbs in the Kitchen: Tips for Using Herbs in Recipes 1. Read a recipe thoroughly and gather the ingredients including the herbs before you start to cook. 2. All recipes in this book call for fresh herbs. I have come to learn that herbs have wonderful edible flowers as well; always use these for garnish. 3. Slightly rubbing fresh herbs together, called bruising, will increase their effectiveness. If no fresh herbs are available, rub the dried herb between your palms or fingertips or use a mortar and pestle to release more of their flavour. 4. To chop leafy fresh herbs, place in a cup and snip with scissors. 5. If you are experimenting with using fresh herbs in recipes that call for dried herbs, use twice the amount of fresh as dried are stronger in flavour. 6. Most of the recipes can be flavoured to taste with freshly ground pepper and a good sea salt. Always taste the dish first before automatically reaching for the salt and pepper shakers. Fresh herbs are so flavourful, you may find you can greatly reduce other seasonings and do not need to rely on salt or pepper to bring out the tastiness. 7. Use top quality food products when cooking - you are worth it! For example, use a quality oil such as olive oil extra virgin—don’t settle for anything less. 8. Use fresh, finely grated Parmesan cheese. The smaller the grate, the more flavourful the cheese. 9. Use fresh ingredients when ever possible. Use fresh lemon or lime juice for tasty wholesome dishes instead of juice from a squeeze bottle. Freezing ginger root is a great way to keep ginger fresh until it is needed. 10. When you want to have the herb flavour without the actual plant leaf, use a tea ball to hold the herbs. It can be hung over the side of the pot and is easily removed. If you don’t have a tea ball you can make one by putting the herbs in cheese cloth and tying it up with a string. 11. Some herbs lose their flavour when cooked; if you aren’t sure of the herb or how to use it in your own recipes, add fresh herbs near the end of cooking to retain freshness and flavour. 12. Herbs bring a variety of texture, colour and flavour that in my opinion, bring a joy to your senses. I encourage you to continue to try different herbs with your own recipes.
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Sustainability in the Kitchen I couldn’t commit to writing my thoughts about food and gardening without sharing my ideas of living sustainably in your kitchen. Over the years I’ve invested my time in learning how to create good home grown, and cooked meals in a sustainable way. I’ve saved energy by using the oven to roast sunflower seeds as I cook an entrée. I’ve cooked things in batches so I am only turning the stove on once. By being intentional, you can select quicker cooking ingredients that are prepared with fuel saving methods. Here are a few suggestions on being intentional using sustainability as a goal: Use less water while cooking. For example, legumes such as lentils will cook in half the time if soaked in tap water for an hour. To cook, use two parts water to one part lentils. Cover and bring to a boil with bay leaves and thyme for two minutes. Turn off and let soak until tender. Use less water - period. Shut the tap off whether you are rinsing dishes or rinsing herbs. Fill up a bowl and use that water to water your plants. Whole ingredients use less packaging. Shop with this in mind. In my radical days, I used to actually purchase then leave heavily packaged materials in the store. Today shoppers usually have a choice in how we are going to buy our groceries. Get the most energy out of your food. Grains are packed with good nutrition and they freeze easily. Create a ‘grain bank’ by cooking larger amounts so that you can use them in other dishes. Grains like quinoa take very little cooking time, plus it’s a complete protein. Use local sources for your food: This one act can bring a new awareness to how good we have it with foods grown in our own back yards or neighbourhoods. Think of the energy it takes to truck lettuce up from California as opposed to going into your garden with a thimble full of lettuce seeds to grow your own. There is no match to saving energy. Choose to eat less meat. An American geological survey that monitors water-use found that a plant-based diet uses 300 gallons per day whereas a meat-based diet uses 4,000 gallons per day. When I learned that a steak takes 2,600 gallons of water to create, a chicken 400, and just 36 gallons for rice, I was sold on eating more of a plantbased diet. Use less electricity when cooking. Find ways to create meals that save on energy use such as these three: Over the Pot Pasta: After you have drained and rinsed the pasta, put it back into the original pot. Add sauce, cheese or cream, leftover cooked veggies, and herbs. Serve with chopped cilantro and chopped hazelnuts. No-Cook Meal: Page 18 of 113
You use no energy during the leftover stage: Leftover pasta with chopped tomato, minced garlic, olives, chopped chives, olive oil, and parmesan cheese makes an easy no cook meal. Stir fry: Energy consumption is less when you stir fry and you use less cooking oil than regular frying. Make sure the oil is hot, otherwise food will absorb it too much. Stir fry one or two veggies, some protein, and an aromatic ingredient such as onion, garlic or ginger. For a burst of flavour add herbs at the end, just before serving. Be a Gardener Grow your own food, be it a basil plant on a porch, a blueberry bush in the back yard or a kale plant tucked in a flowerbed in the front yard. Growing your own food is keeping in touch with nature. I recently read a quote, ‘It is not the environmentalists that are going to save the planet, it’s gardeners.’ I believe this with my whole heart - I thought of myself as an environmentalist and in the old days that meant meetings, and letters to the editor and attending awareness-raising events. Now-a-days being an environmentalist means taking our grandchildren into our garden and grazing. Perhaps in my small way, I encouraged local children in our village to take an interest in their school garden by sharing a plant of mine in their class room. Hopefully you will find your own way to share what you do with the next generation. They are watching and learning from our actions. It is my hope that I have given you the reader a good introduction to the way we grow and use herbs in our lives. Now, onto the good stuff - the recipes for using those herbs you are growing.
" He who plants her garden plants happiness. - Mireille Guiliano Page 19 of 113
Herbs in a Healthy Home Recipes
Basil Basil is a delicate and beautiful plant that does well in the garden and in containers. Many herb books say that when basil is allowed to flower, the herb will produce fewer new leaves. However, I love the look of the petite flowers so I do let it blossom and then eat those flowers. I don’t notice a difference in the flavour of the leaves. It is said however that basil has the strongest and best flavour just before the herb is about to flower.
" Cultivation and Propagation Start basil indoors in mid-spring. The seeds can be sown directly into the garden, though I find birds really like basil seedlings and eat them all before I can get anything off the plant. So... I either buy seedlings or tall plants or I put my basil seedlings in pots and keep them inside until the plants are big enough so as not to interest the birds. Locals believe that the end of the May long weekend is the best time to plant basil, however it depends on the weather. I plant it outside at the same time I plant my tomatoes. Basil thrives in full sun and well-drained soil with a light topping of good compost as a mulch to maintain soil moisture. I read somewhere that you need to treat basil as tenderly as you would an tender annual flower. I When the plants are established—six to eight inches high—pinch off the top to encourage a bushier plant. Plants can also be started from cuttings or rooted suckers. My friend Ana says, “Try it next time you buy fresh cut basil at the store. Place in water for a few days until roots form and plant in a starter container.”
" Hints and Observations I have grown basil in the garden and in pots and I think it does better in pots. Basil is also known to repel mosquitoes and flies, which is another reason why I like having this beautiful aromatic herb growing on my deck. Try and grow a variety of basils to discover which flavours you like best. My two favourite varieties for this climate are Genovese/Sweet Basil and Thai Basil. The former has big leaves and a lovely light green colour, and thrives as a potted plant on my deck (though I have plunked some in the garden near the tomato plants). Thai Basil has beautiful purple flowers that bloom well into fall. With its anise/licorice aroma and flavour, it can be used in Thai curries and stir-fries. Page 20 of 113
" Quick Culinary Uses • Basil flowers and leaves are best used during the last few minutes of cooking. • Cut up finely and garnish for vegetables, chicken or egg dishes. • Basil always works well with tomatoes, zucchini and peppers. • Try using basil leaves instead of lettuce. • Theresa, a dear friend of mine, once fed me a chicken breast marinated in just two ingredients: dried basil and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious. That woman can cook! • Chiffonade, a word I learned from fellow foodie Carol, is a knife technique used for cutting herbs and a perfect way to prepare the basil leaves for many of these recipes. To chiffonade, stack the leaves then roll them into a tube. Cutting across the ends of the tube with a knife will produce the fine strips of basil used in many of these recipes."
Basil Recipes 1. Artichoke, Basil, and Tomato Pizzas 2. Basil Mushroom Gravy 3. Basil Flowers Fettuccini Sauce 4. Farm House Bean Brunch Sandwich 5. Red Pepper Grilled Appetizer 6. Thai Chicken and Basil Stir Fry 7. Tomato and Basil Bruschetta 8. Tomatoes and Basil Vinaigrette 9. Valley Pesto
" Artichoke, Basil, and Tomato Pizzas I have always wanted to try barbecuing pizzas. One summer our son André created a business of baking pizzas in his handmade clay bake oven. He inspired me to try my hand at grilling pizzas. If it’s too cold to barbecue outside, bake in oven at 425 ℉ degrees until crust is golden.
" 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained well and chopped 1 cup feta cheese, chopped finely Zest and juice from one lemon Page 21 of 113
2 cloves garlic, minced 4 pre-cooked pizza bases or soft pitas 3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced 1 cup basil, chopped ¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced Parmesan cheese
" Combine artichokes, cheese, lemon, and garlic and set aside. Grill pizza base on one side to long enough to create grill marks. Flip over and layer base with tomatoes. Spread cheese mixture, basil, and olives evenly between pizza bases. Garnish with freshly ground Parmesan cheese.
" Basil Mushroom Gravy This recipe was a hit with my vegetarian niece, Sarah, as well as the non-vegetarians who came for Christmas dinner one year. The basil flavour will impress any meat eater and others will learn that one doesn’t need meat to make wonderful gravy. The lemon juice helps the mushrooms retain their light colour. A longer simmering time will ensure nice, thick gravy. This recipe works well with lentil loaf, noodles, or soya burgers. 3 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 tablespoons flour 1 ½ to 2 cups veggie stock 1 to 2 teaspoons tamari sauce ¼ cup basil, sliced very thinly Melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, lemon juice, and sliced mushrooms. Cook until onions are transparent, and add garlic. Stir in flour, scraping the bottom of the pan and slowly add 1½ cups of the stock. Keep stirring and cook until thickened; you can add more stock if the gravy is too thick. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of tamari sauce depending how deep a colour and flavour you want for the gravy. Stir in basil just before serving. Page 22 of 113
" Basil Flowers Fettuccini Sauce When the flowers are removed from a basil plant during the growing season, the plant will come back much fuller with more leaves. If you can take the opportunity to grow Thai basil close to the kitchen, their scented flowers will be close at hand for this fettuccine recipe. 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ½ to 1 cup of basil flowers and small leaves ¼ cup chives, chopped 1 tablespoon parsley, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 pound fettuccine, cooked Combine sauce ingredients in large serving bowl. Toss pasta with sauce and garnish with basil sprigs or other edible flowers.
" Farm House Bean Brunch Sandwich The Farm House Natural Cheeses store is nestled between Agassiz and Harrison—just down the road from our house. Here George and Debra raise and treat the goats and cows with loving care. The cheese created here tastes better for it. I dedicated this recipe to master cheese maker Debra who shares her love of European delights and wholesome good food in her home and community. Variations could include any type of Farm House cheese with 1½ cups of cherries, ½ cups of hazelnuts, and black pepper on top. 1 - 15 ounce can cannelloni or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed 3 Roma tomatoes, cut into small cubes ¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup basil, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced Juice of ½ of a lime 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into ½ to ¾ inch slices Page 23 of 113
5 to 6 ounces feta cheese
" Combine the beans, tomatoes, olives, three tablespoons of olive oil, basil, and garlic in a food processor. Brush one side of each bread slice with remaining olive oil. Grill bread until lightly golden on both sides. Remove and spread some cheese on each slice of toast and then top with the bean mixture. Slice into hand-sized pieces.
" Red Pepper Connection Grilled Appetizer We make this appetizer when there are helping hands as it takes one person to prep the peppers, one to pluck the basil leaves, and one to slice the cheese. Michel cooks the peppers to perfection on the barbecue. 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 peppers, cut into thick strips Â˝ cup mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 12 to 16 broad basil leaves Drizzle or brush oil over the pepper slices and arrange on the grill. When the first side is grilled, turn each pepper slice over and top with a leaf and a slice of the cheese. Close the lid of the grill until the cheese melts. Serve while warm and add basil flowers for garnish.
" Seafood Lasagna This very aromatic dish has been enjoyed by many a crowd in our home and is the recipe that my friend Nikki taught me about the joys of basil. She first introduced me to this white sauce lasagna over thirty years ago. As housemates and foodies in Victoria, we took full advantage of all the seafood bounty that surrounded us on Vancouver Island. Nikkiâ€™s original recipe is not for the lactose intolerant and I have tried to substitute some of the cream cheese for sour cream or yogurt. This recipe originally called for dried basil. Thank goodness this makes a large quantity as this lasagna makes a wonderful leftover. 16 lasagna noodles, cooked 2 cups onions, chopped 4 tablespoons butter 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese 3 cups creamed cottage cheese Page 24 of 113
2 eggs, beaten ½ cup or more of basil 1 - 10 ounce can of mushroom soup ⅔ cup milk ⅔ cup dry white wine or apple juice 2 pounds shrimp 1 pound scallops ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated finely 1 cup sharp cheese, shredded large In a frying pan, sauté two cups of chopped onions in four tablespoons of butter. While the onions are cooking, in a separate bowl combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, and basil. Add the onions when they are cooked and stir together. In another bowl, mix together the mushroom soup, milk, and wine. Add the shrimp and scallops and stir gently. Place half of the noodles in a 9 inch x 13 inch greased pan. Spread the onion and cheese mixture over noodles. Spoon half of the fish mixture on top of cheese mixture and repeat all layers. Cover the top with both the Parmesan and sharp cheeses. Bake uncovered for forty-five minutes at 350 ℉ degrees. Brown under broiler; let stand for fifteen minutes before serving.
" Thai Chicken and Basil Stir Fry In Harrison there was a wonderful Thai restaurant where Wanta made her tasty dishes from her mother’s recipes from Thailand. Our daughter Charmaine used to work with Wanta and told me she cooks everything from scratch. Don’t let the list of ingredients deter you; I have tried to recreate the spirit of Wanta’s authentic-ness in this recipe. I like to use Tamari sauce as it is lighter and less salty than regular soya sauce. We use Michel’s dehydrated chilies in any recipe that calls for chili flakes. This stir fry can be served over cooked rice as well. Cooked rice noodles, enough for four servings 1 can coconut milk, reserve ¼ cup for simmering 3 tablespoons tamari soya sauce 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons fish sauce 1 thin slice of hot chili, minced finely Page 25 of 113
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced or use bottom white part of green onions 2-inch piece of ginger root, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch strips 1 cup of chives, chopped 1 ½ cups Thai basil leaves, cut into slivers ¼ cup of peanuts chopped, for garnish Basil flowers for garnish 1 lime, quartered In a wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until lightly browned. Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Add chicken strips to the cooked veggies and stir fry about three minutes until chicken is browned. Stir in the coconut milk sauce, bring to boil then turn down to simmer. Cook until sauce is reduced by half about ten minutes. Add mushrooms, green onions, basil, and the remaining coconut milk. Cover and simmer until heated through. Add noodles and stir evenly to coat. Serve individually, adding garnishes and a squeeze of one quarter lime over noodles.
" Tomato and Basil Bruschetta The word bruschetta comes from the Latin verb "bruscare," which means “to toast or roast over coals.” While Michel and I were on our first big European vacation, we enjoyed checking out restaurants to find the best bruschetta. Each region we visited offered different combinations of herbs, vegetables, and cheese. As a versatile item on a menu, we ate bruschetta as an appetizer in Florence, part of an antipasto plate in France, and as a light lunch in Roma. Here’s my simple version. I invite you to adapt this for the ingredients in your kitchen. 2 garlic cloves, minced 6 slices bread - chewy, porous, textured country loaf, cut ½ to ¾ -inch thick Olive oil 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
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4 or 5 large basil leaves, cut into slivers 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese Preheat broiler or barbecue. Mix together garlic and olive oil. Grill the bread until golden brown on each side. Remove and brush with oil, then layer the top with tomatoes, basil leaves, and cheese. Sprinkle basil over the top and serve warm.
" Tomatoes and Basil Kabobs One of my favorite pastimes is to graze in a garden, particularly when cherry tomatoes are ripe. I like to plant basil next to the tomato plants so I bring a bowl to harvest both for this recipe. My friend Ana tells me it’s a common dish served in Portugal’s Algarve. What I wouldn’t do for the opportunity to travel to her home country together and enjoy a meal with her relatives. I’m sure these kabobs would be served with homemade red wine and Uncle Tony’s bread! 6 tomatoes, cherry, yellow, Roma 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons flavoured vinegar - your choice 3 tablespoons basil, chopped Ensure tomatoes are a uniform size. Thread them onto skewers, alternating the varieties for colour and taste. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using the barbecue, grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn skewers often to prevent burning. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil and drizzle over kabobs before serving.
" Valley Pesto Great pesto comes from selecting the best and freshest ingredients you can grow or afford to buy. Fresh basil is better than dried and good Parmesan cheese makes all the difference in this dish. Pesto can be added to many recipes for a tasty meal, into veggie burgers or meatballs. If you able to grow lots of basil, like friend Val did in her shrub-like basil bush, the beauty of southern exposure yard, freeze your extra basil using this recipe. Pesto sauce stored in the freezer is like summer in a jar! 4 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped 2 cups basil ½ cup olive oil ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
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Salt and pepper to taste Combine garlic, basil, and nuts in food processor. Slowly drizzle in oil while other ingredients are pureeing. Add cheese and process until all ingredients are in a smooth paste form. For a different type of pesto, substitute parsley, cilantro or chives.
" Watermelon Salad Watermelon…goat cheese…basil and balsamic vinegar! What a combo! First time I had this salad it was at Leslie’s house on a hot summers’ day. We had a delightful lunch together at Chez Burkhart where she served thee best salad I’d had in a while. It was just these few ingredients. Experiment. I like the idea of just lime juice. salt and pepper. 5 cups lettuce 5 cups sweet juicy watermelon ½ cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes Vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice ¼ cup basil, finely chopped 1 tablespoon chopped chive or sweet red onion if you don’t have chives salt and pepper to taste On a bed of lettuce, top with watermelon and cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette right before serving.
" " " One who plants a garden, plants joy. – Ancient Chinese proverb, from the book The Spirituality of Gardening by Donna Sinclair
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Chives Chives are a decorative herb that are attractive to both honeybees and humans. This herb makes a dramatic entrance in spring with its purple globe flowers and tall green shoots. Chive flowers are the first to bloom in our herb garden. I have created even more drama by growing them in a mass border along the outer edge of our herb garden. With a mild onion flavour both the chive leaves and flowers are edible. Chives are best when used fresh out of the garden. Chives are mild and grow easily. I’ve gotten into the habit of using my home grown chives instead of buying green onions grown globally. While in season, I use chives whenever green onions are called for in a recipe. Chives inspire me to continue to learn what substitutes I can use from my own yard or pantry where we store what we process instead of relying on produce from out of the country or a can. For example, a few years ago Michel’s sister Lise in southern Ontario gave us a big bag of fresh hot chili peppers that she received as a thank you gift from immigrant farm workers she met through work. We brought the bag home to BC and Michel dehydrated them all. Now instead of using chili flakes from Mexico or hot sauce from a jar, we use a thin little piece of ‘red hot chili pepper’ whenever a recipe needs a kick. Cultivation and Propagation Whether in a raised bed or pot, chives grow best in soil that drains quickly. They multiply quickly so splitting up this herb is the preferred and easy way to obtain the plant from a friend or relatives’ garden. Dig up and divide the plants vertically. Make sure the roots are pruned back to four inches and the leaves to one inch. This will encourage growth. Chive seeds are easily gathered after the flowers die back. I collect the seeds mostly to ensure I don’t have too many growing. You can harvest the seeds by snipping off the flower stem with scissors and setting them in a deep heavy jar or pot until the flowers are dried. Hints and Observations Use fresh garden chives whenever a recipes calls for green onion. By cutting them back like I do, you will notice the more you cut them back the more they seem to grow. And the flavour even improves. Even though chives lose their colour and taste when dried, they can be easily cut and store in the freezer. I’ve tried drying them this year to add to a herbal mix for seasoning. I’ve been cutting them back all growing season and in November, as I write this, they are still growing in the pots I have near our front door. Quick Culinary Uses • The recipes in this chapter and many in this book would be enhanced with chive flowers as a garnish." • Take scissors and a cup in hand into the garden to gather the long shoots or flowers just before you begin meal prep." • Vary chive length when adding to recipes – short for garnish, long for cooking." • Add the flowers or seeds into your next homemade bread recipe."
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• Sprinkle chives on sliced tomatoes or potatoes just before serving."
• Chives are great in a savoury omelet or soup." • Add finely cut chives to tuna or salmon, a tablespoon each of mayonnaise and yogurt. Add a minced garlic clove and ½ cup artichoke hearts - tasty on a cracker or as a dip
" Chive Recipes 1. Crudité Dipping Sauce"
2. Egg Foo Fun 3. Herb Dip 4. Mashed Potatoes with Chives 5. Pasta Vegetable Sauce 6. Risotto Verde with Tomatoes 7. Spicy Lettuce Wraps 8. White Bean Dip with Lemon
Crudité Dipping Sauce Crudité, a French term for ‘raw vegetables’, is a platter of raw vegetables served with one or more dips. I was inspired by another recipe that called for using a blender or food processor to puree chives and chili together until smooth. I prefer to see the actual chive, ensuring that they are cut finely so the dip isn’t too chunky and hard to pick up. For these crudités, select vegetables that are favourites or vary in colour: steamed asparagus, red peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers or tomatoes. Other possible additions to the platter could be bread sticks, cheese, crackers and edible flowers. ½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream ½ cup yogurt 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds 1 lemon, zest and juice 2 cups of chives, chopped finely 1 thin strip of hot chili, chopped very finely In a mixing bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cream, yogurt, and coriander. Add zest and juice then stir well. Add the chive and pepper mixture into this bowl. Let stand and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
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Egg Foo Fun I create this dish for the days when I walk into our local green grocer and see fresh bean sprouts. Irresistible to cook, this is an excellent recipe because it is fresh tasting. The sauce is so easy that guests will think you toiled away in your gourmet kitchen for hours. Fool ‘em all and try this family favorite of ours. Serve with rice, stir-fry and this inhome Chinese food meal is complete. 4 beaten eggs 1 cup chives, sliced in ¼ inch pieces 1 cup diced mushrooms 3 cups of bean sprouts 1 teaspoon tamari sauce 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or packets 1 cup boiling water 2 teaspoons of cornstarch Mix in a big bowl in order: eggs, chives, mushrooms, bean sprouts and tamari sauce. Using a ⅓ measuring cup, scoop and pour a cupful of the egg foo onto a hot frying pan. In a similar way for pancakes, use the spatula to contain any ‘batter’ that starts to run. Flatten out a bit for constancy in thickness. Cook for two to three minutes then flip when brown on one side. Fold in half. Place on a greased metal pan in a warming oven until serving time. Sauce: Boil water in small pot to dissolve bouillon. In a small cup mix cornstarch in one teaspoon of water until smooth. Add this mixture into the boiling water and stir until thick. For flavour and colour add a dash of soy sauce and serve hot in gravy boat dish.
" Herb Dip Not your ordinary dip, this can also be served on crackers and toasted pitas. I was inspired to create this recipe for a summer time barbecue after reading Herbs: From Cultivation to Cooking by Cincinnati Herb Society. I serve this dip on summer days in a cool pot - literally. I use an ingenious serving device where ice is kept in the bottom enabling the dip to stay cold. If you don’t have a dish like this, ensure the dip is thoroughly chilled before taking it outside. 1 clove garlic, minced ½ cup yogurt ½ cup sour cream
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½ cup chives, minced ¼ cup mixed herbs (using thyme, oregano and tarragon) Blend ingredients and refrigerate the dip to allow the flavours to blend. Add a handful of chive flowers or other edible blossoms for colour before serving. Use different herbs each time to make this dip and experiment with ‘highlighting’ a herb in your garden.
" Mashed Potatoes with Chives No need for gravy on these potatoes with all the garlic and chives! Theresa, past owner of Bowen Island’s The Ruddy Potato says to use a ���nice skinned potato’ if available. While the potatoes boil, you can be creating the garlic mixture. Leaving the peel on the potato adds colour, texture and fibre - what a healthy combo to this new style of comfort food! 2 heads (about 30 cloves) garlic, separated and peeled 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flax seed oil 2 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk ½ cup chives, chopped 8 unpeeled potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes and cooked ¼ cup milk, heated ¼ cup parsley, minced Cook whole garlic cloves in the butter and oil over very low heat for ½ hour, covered, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and mix well to encourage the flour to cook and thicken the sauce. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Add chives and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mash with a fork or potato masher. Keep warm. When potatoes are tender, drain and mash with a potato masher adding the heated milk into the hot potatoes. Add the warm garlic sauce and mix gently. Garnish with fresh herbs from the garden.
" Pasta Vegetable Sauce This is yet another fine recipe from Theresa Park’s family recipe book. Recently, I met up with a mutual friend of ours from years ago. We found out we both continue to use Page 32 of 113
Theresa’s recipes – a true test of a recipe shared. I’ve added chives to it as they are so abundant in the garden I have added one less onion that Theresa suggested. with chives being so abounded in my garden, I’ve been able to reduce the amount of onion we buy. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced ¼ cup butter 3 tablespoons oil 2 large stalks of celery, chopped 2 red peppers, chopped 1 cup of zucchini, cut in chunks 1 or 2 large tomatoes 1 hefty cup of grated carrots 1 tablespoon basil 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 1 teaspoon brown sugar ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup or more dry red wine Parmesan cheese Sauté onion and garlic in pan of butter and oil, until transparent. Add vegetables and cook over medium heat until steaming. Add remaining ingredients; cook slowly over low heat for ten minutes. Serve on thick, broad egg noodles or pasta shells. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy.
" Risotto Verde with Tomatoes This recipes is well known in our house as ‘Best Darn Rice Dish That Mom Ever Made’. I was inspired to make this as its simple and has great flavour. No fresh spinach in the garden? Endeavour to always have a package of frozen spinach on hand just in case. 1 small onion 1¼ cup basmati rice
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4 cups of veggie broth 1½ cups of spinach 1 tomato, chopped ½ teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons basil 1 cup chives sliced Bring 4 cups of broth to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep to a simmer. Heat the oil in saucepan. Add 1 small onion and sauté until softened. Add 1¼ cup rice and stir until it is lightly toasted - about three minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth and stir slowly until it is absorbed. Add the rest of the broth and spinach. Stir in the tomato, nutmeg, cheese and herbs.
" Spicy Lettuce Cups When we started asking the kids to cook dinner once a week, our son André introduced our family to this recipe. It was a gourmet meal to us! We found that lettuce wraps can be served either warm or at room temperature. For a more participatory kind of fun, ‘Legault style’, invite your guests to create their own ‘cups’. While preparing the ingredients for cooking, if you put on a pot of rice to cook, you’ll have a complete meal by the time you are ready to sit down at the table together. I have changed the recipe to reflect André’s vegetarian choice. Have fun! 1 - 360 gram package of Yves Veggie Cuisine Just Like Ground 1 tablespoon ginger, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 thin sliver of hot pepper, minced finely 3 tablespoons tamari sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch ⅓ cup celery, very finely chopped 1 cup chives, thinly sliced ½ cup grated carrots ¼ cup nuts in total of hazelnuts, heartnuts and almonds Lettuce leaves 6 to 12 Page 34 of 113
Combine Just Like Ground, ginger, garlic and pepper in bowl. Cook mixture in frying pan until ‘ground’ is cooked. Blend tamari sauce with cornstarch in cup until smooth. Stir sauce mixture and add to mixture in pan. Heat through until sauce boils and thickens. Add celery, chives and nuts. Heat to medium temperature. Place cooked ingredients into serving dishes on the table so others can create their own entree. We have used both big leafy and romaine lettuce leaves. If you don’t have lettuce suitable for wrapping, try creating these with rice wraps and serve with a plum or Thai dipping sauce.
" White Bean Dip with Lemon and Chives This dip tastes like pure protein. It is wonderful on crackers or with veggies. We are lucky to have Michel’s dehydrated hot chilies on hand. If you don’t have chili flakes use cayenne or hot sauce to taste. 3 cups of cooked white beans - kidney, navy or cannelloni 1 tablespoon flax seed oil 1 lemon, zest and juice 3 cloves garlic 1 thin slice of hot pepper ⅓ cup chives, chopped In a blender, process the beans, oil, juice and zest, garlic and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and add chives. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
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Cilantro Cilantro is sometimes referred to as Chinese parsley or coriander. Both the stems and leaves of the plant are widely used in Mexican and Indian cooking. It looks similar to Italian parsley however the leaves are slightly more fine and delicate and the ends are round. Cilantro has a strong scent and I find people either love it or loathe it. When I first started to buy this herb, my family did not like the smell. However, as my repertoire of recipes increased, and my love of cilantro grew, the whole family came to enjoy this herb too. Also, what’s a summer salsa without fresh cilantro?! While researching this herb I read that others add cilantro to cakes such as spice, gingerbread or pineapple cakes - I’m going to try that this year. Because the plant looks a lot like Flat Leaf parsley, if you buy it, rub the leaves in your finger then check out the herb’s scent to ensure you in fact have purchased cilantro. Michel and I have both come home from the store in ‘off season’, only to find we bought parsley instead. I always thought cilantro was such an exotic herb, available only from my green grocer’s Mexican connection. However, I was excited to learn that this herb grows in BC. Harvesting cilantro takes patience, however the flavour and freshness of this home grown herb is worth it. This is the only herb included in this book that changes names after it is dried. The herb is cilantro when you use the green fresh part. The plant’s seeds are called coriander and used to flavour food with when seeds are crushed. Propagation and Cultivation Plant seeds in the garden once the danger of frost is gone. I learned to grow this herb in a place protected from wind as it tends to become top-heavy and flop over - if you have not picked and used it fast enough. I have come to sow more seeds each week during the spring to keep a steady supply of cilantro during its growing season. This herb is a delicate plant with shallow fine roots; I can’t imagine that it would transplant well so I have never tried. When the plant starts to flower it becomes bitter and is no longer used as cilantro. I pick the flowers for a very light flavour in salads, and intentionally leave a plant to bolt for the summer to collect and dry the coriander seeds to use in winter and for replanting next year.
" Hints and Observations In my first herb garden, I planted cilantro behind the rosemary. The plants grew sparse and their tall stems fell over as they bolted into seed before I realized it. The next
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season I planted some in a pot on our front deck with some pansies and that seemed to work, though they were still very sparse. Our friend Amerjit told me that cilantro grows like a weed beside their south-facing barn. So I thought I’d try growing this herb again from seed in a better spot. It was convenient that Santa brought me a package of cilantro/coriander seeds that year in my Christmas stocking! So I picked a spot front and center in a flowerbed. I had success there and learned that it is generally a sparse looking plant and to pick it when you see it because it really does go to seed fast. I’ve planted cilantro both in the middle of my herb garden, where it was protected, and in full sun beside the Gingko tree. It did better beside the tree, sheltered. I have heard from friend who grow cilantro that if you grown this herb in a pot so, it doesn’t spread. I’m trying it this year and have already spread the seed to see if it comes up on its own in spring.
" Quick Culinary Uses • This herb was voted “Most Likely to Make Salsa” so be sure to add cilantro to any salsa recipe for an authentic Spanish taste to any Mexican meal you create. • Cilantro is to beans what salt is to pepper. Add cilantro to curries, salads or soups with beans and you can’t go wrong. • Add cilantro near the end to the cooking time to retain this herbs freshness. • Use equal amounts of low fat ricotta, cilantro, and yogurt, blend together in mini food processor or hand blender, to create a smooth cream sauce.
" Cilantro Recipes 1. Cheesy Herb Dip 2. Coleslaw au Rainbow 3. Garbanzo Corn Salad 4. Guacamole 5. Indonesian Satay 6. Lime Mayonnaise 7. Sassy Salsa 8. Spicy Peanut Sauce
" " Page 37 of 113
Cheesy Herb Dip This was a hit during a gals’ get together at my place in the spring. I love using edible flowers to decorate a meal so it’s fun to serve this when our garden has the most blooms. This spread can be served up as a dip with vegetables such as thinly sliced carrots, celery, cucumber, red peppers or with crackers. 1 eight ounce package cream cheese ½ cup soft goat cheese ½ cup cilantro, chopped fine 1 small hot pepper, seeded and minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar 1 teaspoon paprika Herb flowers for garnish Mix all items except garnish in a large bowl until blended. Place in decorative bowl. Chill before serving.
" Coleslaw au Rainbow This colourful, light coleslaw makes for a pleasant change from the regular sugar-laden version. I serve coleslaw when the lettuce in stores isn’t looking so hot, yet the cabbages are fresh. 1 ½ cups small green cabbage, thinly sliced 1 ½ cups small red cabbage, thinly sliced 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 3 carrots, grated 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced 1 inch piece of hot chili pepper, minced finely 1 cup cilantro leaves, minced ¼ cup lime juice ½ teaspoon cumin seeds 3 teaspoons white wine vinegar ⅓ cup olive oil
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Combine vegetables.Whisk together remaining ingredients and toss with vegetables. Allow time for flavours to marry in the fridge—a few hours to overnight.
" Garbanzo Corn Salad Tomatillos are the prettiest plant and a real conversation piece when on a walk-about in the garden. It’s been ages since I first saw this little green beauty in my brother Alan’s garden where I learned it’s as easy as a tomato to grow and use. Add cilantro just before serving to keep this salad fresh. The last time I made this salad I didn’t have any tomatillos and substituted finely chopped cucumbers. I’ve also made it with fresh corn instead of cooked corn. Both variations were just as good as the original. 2 corncobs, grilled and kernels removed 2 tablespoons oil (olive oil or flax seed oil) 1 hot pepper, chopped finely ½ cup sweet onion, chopped 8 tomatillos, chopped ½ cup cider vinegar 1 red pepper, chopped 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas 1 cup cilantro, minced Sauté corn in olive oil for five minutes; add hot peppers, onions, tomatillos, and vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add black pepper, red bell pepper, and garbanzo beans. Chill at least four hours before serving.
" Guacamole While doing research on cilantro I learned how the base ingredients of the dish are ground first before adding the avocados. Authentic Guacamole is lumpy not smooth. ¼ red onion, sliced finely ½ cup chives ½ cup cilantro, plus 2 tablespoons ½ teaspoon salt 2 ripe avocados 1 clove garlic Page 39 of 113
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and minced Zest and juice of one lime 1 teaspoon cumin 1 tomato, chopped finely Grind the onions, cilantro, and salt into a paste using a heavy bowl and a wooden spoon. In a separate bowl, mash the avocados roughly into the paste so it is still chunky with a fork and set aside. Chop garlic, onions, and pepper in food processor. Add the rest of ingredients and chop until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to blend flavours. Before serving, stir in the tomato and remaining cilantro for colour.
" Indonesian Satay This is an easy yet exotic way to serve tofu. On a bed of rice and steamed veggies is how our family enjoyed it. A true test of a family recipe is when your children serve this to their children, right Charmaine?! Mash the garlic and then the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. Oil a 9 x 13 pan and cover with a layer of the sauce. Lay on the tofu and marinate for 2 to 3 hours. Bake at 375 ℉ degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. 1 package of firm tofu, cut into ½ inch slices 2 cloves of garlic, mashed together ½ teaspoon vinegar ¼ cup peanut butter ¼ cup boiling water 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon grated ginger root 2 Tablespoons honey dash of chili powder or cayenne pepper
" Lime Mayonnaise Serve on sandwiches or as dip for homemade French fries, this type of sauce is something we made in Spain. Keep it refrigerated and use within two days. ¾ cup light mayonnaise
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¼ cup yogurt Zest and juice of one lime ½+ cup cilantro 1+ teaspoon ground chili powder Blend all ingredients in food processor and store in a tight container.
" Sassy Salsa Many friends and family have loved this salsa. The recipe originally came from Amber, a fun-loving Dragon Boater who created it for a celebratory gathering after a regatta in Victoria. Keep in mind: you’ll be eating this salsa with chips or food that can dip easily, so ensure the veggies are chopped finely. 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 whole cucumber, chopped One cooked cob of corn, kernels removed ½ cup red onion, chopped finely ½ cup chives, chopped 1 bunch of cilantro, cut finely with scissors 2 tablespoons chili sauce 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 teaspoon chili powder Juice of one or two limes In a glass bowl, add tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber in layers. Cut off kernels from the corn and add on top of the layered vegetables. Top off with cilantro. Combine the chili sauce, chili powder, hot sauce, and lime juice in a separate bowl. Pour sauce over chopped veggies and refrigerate. Try adding finely diced pineapple, jalapeño chili, and lemon juice for a more fruity salsa. My friend Ana points out that if you have any digestive sensitivities, the chili sauce, chili powder, and hot sauce can cause inflammation. She suggests substituting them with 1 tablespoon rich tasting tomato sauce and mild herbs like oregano or parsley.
" Spicy Peanut Sauce " Page 41 of 113
This is a great sauce you can make the day before; just cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving it with as a topping for a rice bowl, sauce in a taco wrap or a dip for a spring roll. 3 tablespoons warm water 3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter ½ teaspoons honey ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon tamari sauce ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped Mix together the peanut butter, honey, pepper flakes and tamari sauce. Add water and a bit more if needs to be smoother.
" " " There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub. - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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Lemon Balm Balm maketh the heart merrie and joyful and strengthen the vital spirits. – Avicenna, The Canon of Medicine, an 11th Century book on herbs
" Lemon balm, one of the first herbs I started to grow, is a beautiful versatile and delicate looking herb. I grew it in a spot between a sidewalk and our house so it had no where to roam. It’s because once this herb is introduced into your garden, you will always have it. Growing lemon balm in a pot, raised bed boxed in prevents it from wandering. Plucking this plant’s top keeps lemon balm from self seeding prevents volunteers from taking over your garden. Cultivation and Propagation Lemon balm is a part of the mint family and looks very similar, with ridged light green leaves. As a perennial this herb can grows into a bush about twenty four inches round. Lemon balm is drought tolerant and doesn't like wet roots. Harvesting this herb at least three times in summer by cutting stems back to three inches from the base keeps it under control. As with other herbs, by mulching plants in the fall with dried fallen leaves, the herbs will be protected during the winter. Dividing the lemon balm in spring will ensure a successful plant will grow. Hints and Observations Consider yourself warned as lemon balm will eventually end up in parts of your garden where you may not want them to grow. Its seeds and small plants thrive in the smallest of cracks so either cut the plant back before it flowers or dig up the volunteers and share them with friends. I’ve learned to tuck the volunteers into spots in the garden that need a little bit of green finding that lemon balm can flourish anywhere - in shade or sun. To use in a recipe, stack the lemon balm leaves together and roll. Chop finely in thin strips. Lemon balm has a finer, texture when the plant is young. By cutting back new growth, you ensure a bushy plant for the season while at the same time enjoy a milder texture. Quick Culinary Uses • A delightful way to enjoy lemon balm is to place a simple stem with leaves in a glass of water. Perfection! • Lemon balm can be used in place of lemon peel in recipes, just use more. • Hang lemon balm to dry and then store it in glass jar. A handful of lemon balm, mint, and honey makes a great hot tea in winter. • Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a handful of lemon balm leaves, and 2 tablespoons flavoured vinegar to serve over steamed vegetables or green salad. Page 43 of 113
• This prolific plant inspired me to create combinations of lemon balm uses. Email me and I’ll send the chart to you.
" Lemon Balm Recipes 1. Berry Balm Dessert 2. Blueberry Lemon Balm Vinaigrette 3. Fruit Pizza 4. Herbal Cookies 5. Lemon Herb Butter 6. Little Lucy’s Lemon Squares 7. Spaghetti Lemon Balm 8. Zesty Cheesy Fruit Spread
" Berry Balm Dessert This is a variation of the Brown Betty our mom used to make using apples. Serve this quick dessert hot with ice cream or whipped cream. Garnish with lemon balm flowers. 2 cups berries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries Zest and juice of one lime or lemon ⅔ cup brown sugar ¼ cup whole wheat flour ¼ ground flax seed 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup butter, melted ½ cup lemon balm leaves, finely chopped Mix berries, juice, and lemon balm in a bowl; then spread mixture in a square buttered baking pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients thoroughly and pack over the berries. Bake at 375 ℉ degrees for about thirty minutes, or until golden brown.
" Blueberry Lemon Balm Vinaigrette The lemony flavour and tart blueberries make a very tangy spinach salad with a nontraditional fruity dressing. Page 44 of 113
½ cup blueberries 3 tablespoons blueberry juice or apple cider vinegar Zest and juice of ½ lemon 1 cup lemon balm leaves 1 tablespoon red onion, minced 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon grainy mustard 3 tablespoons flax seed oil 3 tablespoons olive oil In a food processor or blender, combine blueberries, vinegar, juice, zest, and lemon balm leaves. Pulse until the berries are finely chopped. Add the onion, honey, and mustard. Blend again until well combined. With the blade running, slowly pour in the oil until incorporated. Serve immediately to retain the freshness of the lemon balm and berries.
" Fruit Pizza Using the young leaves of lemon balm ensures the tenderness of the flavour is enjoyed. Fruit Pizza is an all time favorite of our family and has all the makings of an old fashion type of dessert with a new twist - adding a herb. Indulging in the tastes we grew up with once in awhile the tastes of our past and for me that includes whip cream. The original recipe came from my Aunt Irene called for mace. Now I use nutmeg or cinnamon instead. For the berries, any kind of family favorite will work. Seasonal fruit: pear, peaches, nectarines thinly slice 1 cup of berries, fresh or frozen ½ cup butter ¼ cup icing sugar 1 cup flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons sugar ¼ teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon 2/3 cup orange juice ½ cup strawberry or raspberry jam Page 45 of 113
½ cup small lemon balm leaves For the crust, cream together the butter and icing sugar. Blend in flour to make soft dough. Pat into a pizza pan and prick crust with a fork. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool.
" Sauce Mix together cornstarch, sugar and spices in a medium sized pan. Stir in orange juice and jam. Stir continually over medium/high heat until thick.Cool for two minutes then spread sauce onto pizza crust. Arrange fruit, fresh or frozen, on top of the sauce. Thinly sliced pear, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, berries, ect. Chill and just before serving with whip cream, sprinkle lemon balm leaves on top. For whipped cream that turns out every time, make sure your beaters and bowl are squeaky clam. Chill the cream, beaters and bowl for ten minutes before you beat it for best results. Add a few tablespoons of white sugar while beating the cream. Yum
" Herbal Cookies Plucking the young leaves off the tops of a lemon balm plant will stop it from spreading. Use these gleanings in this cookie recipe and ask your friends or grandchildren to guess the herb. ¼ cup young lemon balm leaves, sliced ¼ cup lemon verbena or 1 teaspoon lemon juice ⅔ cup butter, softened ⅔ cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 ⅔ cups of rolled oats ⅔ cup whole wheat flour Preheat oven to 350 ℉ degrees. Combine lemon balm and juice with the back of spoon to blend. Add the egg to the lemon mixture and beat. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Use tablespoon to scoop cookie dough onto parchment on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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Lemon Herb Butter Finely chopped herbs make a great butter for seafood or vegetables. Try adding parsley, rosemary or lemon zest for a taste explosion. 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons lemon balm 2 tablespoons thyme 1 teaspoon grainy mustard ½ cup butter, softened Cream butter and stir in herbs. Chill for at least three hours to allow flavours to blend.
" Little Lucy’s Lemon Squares These lemony treats are one of the first desserts I made on my own as a school aged child. The original recipe came from a Scholastic Peanuts Cookbook I bought at a book fair in grade five. Fast forward many years to when I adapted this recipe by experimenting with different sweeteners and adding lemony herbs into the filling. For more local flavour, I added two plentiful goodies that grow in the Fraser Valley: hazelnuts and blueberries. Crust: ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts crushed. ¾ cup flour ¼ cup brown sugar ⅓ cup melted butter Lemon filling: 1 tablespoon agave syrup ½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon baking powder 2 eggs, slightly beaten Zest and juice of one lemon 1 tablespoon lemon verbena 1 tablespoon lemon balm leaves ½ cup blueberries
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For the crust: Add enough flour to the crushed hazelnuts to make one cup of dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to chop the butter and stir in flour and sugar. Mix like pie dough and press into an 8 by 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350°F for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, beat eggs well and add syrup, sugar, lemon juice and zest. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking power and then pour into the liquid. Remove the crust from the oven and cool for ten minutes. Pour the lemon filling over it, sprinkle blueberries and herb leaves. Return the pan to the oven, and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes longer, or until a knife stuck in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and garnish with herb sprigs or leaves.
" Spaghetti Lemon Balm Friends and family will never guess the herb is in this sauce. To thicken it nicely, simmer it with the lid slightly on. Adding lemony pesto at the end will bring out the freshness of the herb. Add any cooked or fresh vegetables available. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash, it’s a nice change from store bought sauce. 2 cups lemon balm leaves ½ cup parsley ⅓ cup olive oil 5 cloves garlic 2 cups tomatoes, chopped 1 medium red onion, chopped ½ cup carrots, grated ½ cup fresh peas ½ teaspoon cornstarch Spaghetti Cook pasta until al dente, about 12 minutes. To make the lemony pesto; combine the lemon balm, parsley, oil, and garlic in a food processor. Blend just enough to retain some of the chunkiness. Combine tomatoes, onions, and other veggies in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes until tomato sauce is reduced. Stir in the cornstarch and the prepared lemon balm pesto.
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Zesty Cheesy Fruit Spread This easy spread is great on homemade biscuits. Though my Grandma was a star baker making her light and airy biscuits, she didn’t grow herbs in her garden, she ¼ cup butter, softened 1 cup cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons orange marmalade Zest and juice of ½ orange 3 tablespoons fresh lemon balm, chopped
" Cream the butter and cheese until smooth. Mix in the other ingredients. Chill overnight and serve at room temperature.
" " " "
John Hussey, of Sydenham, England who lived to 116 years old, drank lemon balm tea with honey every day for fifty years. I think I’ll make a pot right now....
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Mint Ahhh... mint. Society is surrounded by its artificial flavour, yet I believe you have not lived until you’ve enjoyed a cup of tea using fresh mint from your garden. There are many kinds of mint. In our garden we have only grown spearmint, peppermint, and apple mint. When you grow it in the house, don’t let it get leggy. Make sure you keep trimming the main stem by cutting it back by a third so it branches out. I have had success overwintering some mints in my garden by covering them with a light mulch. This year, I am overwintering it in a pot on our front porch along with Michel’s bonsais.
" Cultivation and Propagation Mint does best in deep, rich, well-drained soil. Because it is an invasive herb and requires moisture, I now like to grow it in big containers to keep it in check. Mint likes sun or partial shade; our peppermint grows quite well near the compost container and I have a small apple mint that comes up every year amongst my lemon balm under the canopy of a cedar tree. Mint can become leggy, a long and straggly stem with few leaves in deep shade. If you find your plant becoming straggly looking, move the potted plant to where it will experience direct sun. Mint can be propagated easily by digging up plants in late winter or early spring. To harvest it, I cut the plant back by two thirds and dry the stalks by hanging them up. I take off all the leaves and store them in jars and love the look of them in my tea cupboard. The stalks go into the compost pile as there is little fear that they will propagate there.
" Hints and Observations Peppermint has fine, narrow pointy leaves with reddish veins that are shiny and dark green. It has a sweet, strong flavour that works well in desserts or tea. Spearmint is bright green pointy leaves, white flowers and clean light scent. Its scent is stronger and less sweet than peppermint. It’s the mint most commonly associated with lamb. Apple mint has rounded leaves and with its light flavour is good for mixing with other herbs for tea. I have tried a few different mints. Chocolate mint is a dark brown green colour that did not winter over in our garden. One year I grew Corsican mint, a low mat-forming ground cover with tiny bright green leaves, on the steps leading to the back garden. It was a true joy to rub my hand over that mint for its crème de menthe fragrance. Alas, it didn’t survive the winter and I haven’t tried it again.
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Mint is prolific in the summer so I’ve provided many warm-weather recipes in this chapter. When using it for cooking, young leaves are more flavourful and tender than full grown leaves. By picking off new growth you’ll keep the plant healthy and prolific. I’ve had fun experimenting with this herb in my kitchen and while I encourage you to try some of your own ideas, I will share a few hints.
" Quickie Culinary Uses • Finely chop mint so that it loses its coarseness and its flavours come out. • Mint works well with any Greek dishes you prepare. • Toss chopped up mint into dishes of peas, carrots, new potatoes or fresh fruit. • Use sprigs of mint as a garnish in drinks, fruit dishes or salads. • Steeping a handful of mint in hot water for ten minutes creates a comforting tea. • Mint can be turned into light, fresh-tasting pesto that stores well in the freezer. • For a quick dessert mix together sliced fruit, chopped mint, and toasted shredded coconut. • Freeze watermelon cubes and put them in a blender with lime juice, orange juice, and mint for a refreshing Granita, an Italian style summertime drink. • Heat the water or milk portion of a brownie recipe to simmer. Remove from heat, stir in one cup of chopped fresh mint leaves, cover and steep for 15 mins. Uncover, let cool and add the liquid and mint to the rest of the mix. Bake. This idea was adapted from the book The Herbalist’s Garden by S. and R. de la Tour
" Mint Recipes 1. Fruit Kebabs 2. Greek Salad 3. Grilled Zucchini and Carrots 4. Honey-balsamic Grilled Fruit Salad 5. Mint Pilaf 6. Spinach Frittata 7. Thai Spinach Dip 8. Tomato and Cucumber Mint Salad
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Fruit Kebabs I like this recipe for a get together because it can be prepared by your kitchen helpers while the burgers are being cooked on the grill. After the burgers are done, put the marinated fruit skewers on the hot coals for a refreshing locally grown dessert. Serves four hungry friends. 6 peaches, peeled and cut in quarters 3 plums, peeled and thickly sliced 3 apricots, cut in half Cantaloupe or honeydew melon, cut into chunks 1 cup orange juice ¼ cup lime juice ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon mint, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh stevia, chopped 2 tablespoons fruit flavoured liqueur Mix the ingredients and marinate the fruit for thirty minutes. Place the fruit by poking them onto the skewers. Grill skewers for about five minutes, basting often with the marinade.
" Greek Salad I attempted to replicate the fantastic Greek Salad and their drizzled house-made oil herb vinaigrette that we enjoyed so much at the the Ikonomou family’s local restaurant. John, Angela and their sons have since moved away and opened another wonderful restaurant Galini Greek Kousina and Grill in Surrey. I wonder if they would think the chopped mint and beans for protein adds a new twist to this easy-to-make salad? For a hearty lunch, add florets of broccoli and cauliflower. 4 cups salad greens 2 tablespoons mint, chopped 1 small red onion, minced 2-3 tomatoes, chopped ½ English cucumber, sliced thinly ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled Handful of pitted kalamata olives Page 52 of 113
½ cup garbanzo beans 3 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 1 clove of garlic, minced Toss ingredients with olive oil and vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste.
" Grilled Zucchini and Carrots This vegetable side dish looks good and tastes great. It could easily be stir-fried if it’s too rainy to barbecue. 3 carrots, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch slices 3 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch slices ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons mint, chopped 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil Steam the carrots for ten minutes, until barely tender, so the veggies cook evenly on the grill. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, mint, parsley, and olive oil. Brush the vegetable slices with mixture and place on a hot grill. Turn frequently until veggies are tender and slightly charred on the outside.
" Honey Balsamic Grilled Fruit Salad Just typing this out makes my mouth water. We’re lucky to live so close to the Okanagan where we can obtain fresh, juicy peaches in July. This recipe has wonderful unexpected flavours your guests will love. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat. ½ cup honey 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons mint, chopped finely 4 peaches 4 red plums, quartered with pits removed 1 tablespoon melted butter 2 cups berries Page 53 of 113
⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled Mint leaves for garnish Stir honey and vinegar together until combined. Add chopped mint. Set aside. Score a small X in the bottom of each peach. Gently drop them into a pot of boiling water. When the X starts to come away from the peach, plunge the fruit immediately into cold water. Slip skins from the peaches and pat dry. Quarter each peach and remove the pits. In bowl with peaches and plums, add butter and toss until evenly coated. Place prepared fruit on grill, cut sides down. Brush with honey mixture. Grill for four minutes or until well marked, turning and basting often. Transfer to bowl and drizzle any leftover honey mixture onto fruit. Add berries and combine. Just before serving, sprinkle with the feta cheese and mint.
" Mint Pilaf This dish is good eaten all by itself or as a side dish. Mint Pilaf is a good way to use leftover cooked rice. The mint can be prepared fresh or sautéed—try it both ways to see which one you like best. Another thing to try is adding one to two tablespoons of yogurt this will add to the creaminess of the recipe. 1 cup mint 1 one-inch piece of ginger 1 small onion 1 red chili 1 clove of garlic Basmati rice, brown or white Grind all ingredients into a paste using a food processor or hand blender. Sauté the ground paste lightly over medium heat for a few minutes, then add rice and cook until heated through. Alternatively, you can sauté fresh mint along with the rest of the ingredients until the leaves wilt to a dark green colour and then grind the ingredients a paste. Spinach Frittata I had never eaten a frittata until I met Rhonda and John, friends from our days of living in Golden, BC. Frittatas were a perennial favourite in Rhonda’s big Italian family, made with fresh eggs and home grown spinach from their farm. I’ve adapted the recipe and for years, I was grateful for the free range eggs that Amerjit and Laxman Akoo’s chickens supplied our family.
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Frittatas are great. They can be made in advance, and served either piping hot out of the oven or at room temperature. This recipe makes enough for a 10- to 12-inch frittata or 24 miniature frittatas if you use muffin tins. ⅓ cup green onions or chives, finely chopped 2 tablespoons butter, divided 6 extra large eggs ¼ cup cream or milk 3 tablespoons spearmint leaves, finely minced 2 cups spinach, steamed and chopped 2 tablespoons parsley, minced ½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded 1 ½ cups new potatoes, diced small and steamed until tender 1 cup fresh sweet peas or diced zucchini Parmesan cheese for sprinkling Mint leaves to garnish platter Sauté onion in butter till transparent. Add potatoes and peas and stir well. In a bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Add mint, parsley, cheese, and spinach. In a greased glass pan, combine the egg and vegetable mixtures and bake at 350˚ F degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese. Cut into wedges and serve. Note: For individual frittatas, grease muffin tins and fill each well with approximately two tablespoons filling. Bake at 350˚F for about 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Variation: Add ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup basil, ¼ cup parmesan, and brown rice pasta.
" Thai Spinach Dip This recipe is a creamy smooth addition to any girls’ get together, where forks and knives are set aside and finger foods are being served. 1 cup spinach, chopped ½ cup sour cream ½ cup plain yogurt ¼ cup mint, chopped Page 55 of 113
½ cup peanuts, chopped 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon tamara sauce ½ piece of hot red chili Mix together and chill for two hours.
" " Tomato and Cucumber Mint Salad This is a great summer time salad to enjoy the bounty of Fraser Valley vegetables 2 large cucumbers, cut into ½ inch slices ¼ cup red wine vinegar 3 large tomatoes, chopped ⅓ cup red onion, chopped ½ cup mint, chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil
" Place cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of seasoning salt into a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for one hour, tossing occasionally. Add tomatoes, red onion, mint, and oil; season with pepper. Mint is prolific and visually appealing so I encourage you to use mint often as a garnish. To decorate a bowl of food, use a small cluster of either mint flowers or young leaves from the plant. For a dramatic presentation of food served on a platter, lay down a bed of mint stems filled with leaves onto the platter then place the food on top.
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Oregano Oregano is a culinary herb that makes a superb edging plant and ground cover - it stays put and does not wander if you use it. I find the light flavour wonderful in simple salad dressings and almost any food grilled on the barbecue. The plant grows somewhat compact and up rather than across, though I keep it short because I am trimming it to use the plant throughout its growth. It does have a tendency to spread so you’ll have lots once the plant is established. Cultivation and Propagation Oregano grows best in full sun and fairly dry soil. I harvest it almost daily throughout the summer, cutting its shoots about two-thirds of the way down the stack so it continues growing. Oregano requires little maintenance, although I do pinch back the flowers to keep the plants bushy to prevent it from reseeding and becoming a weed. Hints and Observations Oregano grows quickly and will spread. Last year I took my one big clump and separated it into smaller clumps, which allowed me to pot some for my windowsill. I put some in our front flower box, it did great there and was an effective green filler amongst the other herbs I grew. I also had enough to put into a few pots to give away; a gal only needs so much oregano.
" Oregano Quickie Culinary Uses • Use fresh with sautéed zucchini and onions. • As a marinade for grilling, pour lime juice and chopped oregano over tofu. • Combine chopped garlic, lemon zest, and oregano over grilled potatoes. • Add oregano to Mexican, Greek, or Italian recipes. • For an elegant oregano appetizer, grill slices of French bread with thickly sliced provolone cheese sprinkled with oregano. As the cheese melts, spread on crusty bread. • For a non-cook recipe that quickly puts an authentic touch of Greece on the table, place a ½ inch slice of feta cheese on a salad plate. Sprinkle with chopped oregano, freshly ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Scoop onto a slice of thick bread to enjoy.
" Oregano Recipes 1. Braised Carrots with Ginger 2. Homemade Dipping Chips
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3. Kale Chips with homemade Seasoning Salt 4. Potato Wedges 5. Tomatoes With Feta 6. Summertime Salad Dressing
" " Braised Carrots with Ginger Locally grown carrots from the Akoo Tranmer Road farm and fresh oregano flowers for garnish always makes a special vegetable dish that I like to serve to friends and family, especially when their carrots are in season. So lucky they are usually available until late fall. 4 large carrots, about 1 pound, sliced thinly Zest and juice of 1 orange Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced - fresh or frozen ⅓ cup chives chopped finely - about ¼ inch in size 2 tablespoons of oil 2 tablespoons butter Handful of fresh oregano Salt and pepper to taste In a large bowl, toss carrots with the zest and juice of the orange and lemon, ginger, onions or chives, and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Melt butter and oil in a saucepan, add the carrot mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. In order to retain the herbs colour, add oregano during the last ten minutes of cooking.
" Homemade Dipping Chips I guarantee you’ll never buy chips again. These golden brown and crispy chips will be a hit with any kind of dip. You can use either butter or oil, mixing the herbs together in a bowl or sprinkling the herbs, whichever you find easiest. 6-inch whole wheat pita bread Oregano and other dried herbs
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Olive oil or butter Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter or brush oil onto the pita bread. Sprinkle oregano and other dried herbs on top. Use a knife or scissors to cut each pita into six wedges. Bake for ten minutes. Cool before serving.
" Kale Chips I just had to add this recipe, adapted from one that André made for friends and family. I didn’t have any store bought seasoning salt which the original recipe called for so I made my own instead - recipe follows. The chips stores well in a covered container and retain their crispness for a day or two if you don’t eat it all. Kale Chips sounded interesting, I always think I could eat more kale though rarely do. So I was happy to try them for the first time when a fundraising group I belong Teryia hosted a seasonal get together. Katarina brought kale chips and they were a hit. Kale is now a staple in my garden! 1 bunch of fresh kale - 4 to 6 cups after stems are removed 1 teaspoon of olive oil ¼ teaspoon seasoned sea salt Wash the kale, shake off, or use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Air dry on a tea towel for ½ hour. Preheat oven to 350℉ degrees. and line a thin cookie sheet with parchment paper. With kitchen scissors remove the leaves from stems and cut into bite size pieces. Drizzle kale with olive oil. Use your hands to mix and gently rub leaves to ensure the kale is covered evenly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with homemade seasoning salt. Bake approximately 13 to 15 minutes until the edges are brown and the chip is crisp. Flip the chips if need be for an over all crispness.
" Herbal Seasoning Salt I had been working on my herb book, thinking of how I can use more local ingredients instead of store bought food when I decided to make our own seasoning salt. Our friend Rhonda shared with me the reason why Himalayan salt is the kind to buy. She had me at ‘contains a full spectrum of 84 minerals and is unprocessed’. 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 2 teaspoon dried herbs - rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme In a mortar and pestle, crush together the herbs and salt until fine. Use as you would salt.
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" Potato Wedges with Oregano-Garlic Butter I scrub potatoes and just leave the skin on as it is where a lot of the vitamins are found; I like fibre and this one act of accepting the skins ‘as is’ frees up time in the kitchen. 3 large baking potatoes, steamed al dente, cooled, and cut into wedges 3 tablespoons olive oil ¼ cup butter 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 tablespoons oregano, chopped Melt the butter over low heat; when it foams, add garlic and oregano. Cook uncovered for five minutes. Remove from heat, pour butter over slices and season.
" Tomatoes with Feta I often grow tomatoes in the middle of my smaller herb garden located at the foot of steps to the back yard. It always seems like the right place because the soil gets lots of sun and tomatoes are so handy to graze. 4 firm-ripe tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons oregano leaves, finely chopped 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
" Preheat broiler. Lightly oil baking sheet; place tomato slices in a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle slices with oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with oregano leaves and feta. Place tomatoes under broiler. Cook until soft and cheese is lightly browned, three to four minutes. Serve immediately.
" Summertime Salad Dressing Roast the garlic needed for your recipes on rainy day so it is ready for this dressing. This dressing is great with romaine lettuce and tomatoes. 6 garlic cloves (baked at 375 ℉ degrees in wrapped foil and olive oil for 45 minutes) ½ cup of each fresh basil, parsley and oregano leaves ½ cup yogurt
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⅓ mayonnaise 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Grind garlic and herbs together in food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and let sit for a couple of hours to marry the flavours.
Parsley Like many other herbs, parsley hails originally from the Mediterranean and has naturalized throughout Europe. Here in North America we aren’t so lucky to come across it while hiking in rocky areas. Parsley aka ‘Nature’s Breath Mint’ is full of good nutrients such as vitamin B12, chlorophyll, and calcium. It is a great source of iron and I was surprised to learn that parsley has even more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Cultivation and Propagation The last couple years I have had good results with transplanting bedding plants of young parsley. I take care to not disturb the taproot,instead I take the plant and its surrounding dirt to where it will grow. To seed indoors before the last spring frost is good if you want to start your own plants, seed indoors before the last frost in spring. Compared to other seeds, parsley takes a long time to germinate. To get a jump on it sprouting first soak the seeds in warm water then spread out over paper towel to germinate. I grow my parsley in a raised herb bed with six inches of rich, moist well-drained soil. The plants are in full sun though I have grown it on our deck in light shade and parsley did well there too. I mulch the plants thickly in winter with leaves to delay dieback and hopefully have parsley all year if our winter isn’t too severe. During the second year of growth, it is good to remove flower stalks after they have blossomed to extend the foliage life. Parsley will self seed when left to maturity so leave some flowers to blossom the go to seed. As I write this in the early fall of 2016 and see that my French curly leafed parsley has almost died out as I failed to let some plants go to seed. Now if you were to come into my garden you’d see tall pale yellow plants heavy with seeds.
" Hints and Observations This is a beautiful plant so I have taken to growing parsley for decorative and culinary reasons in our front garden. It likes water so remember it doesn’t like to get dry like other Mediterranean herbs do throughout the year. In late fall, I usually pot up and keep parsley on a sheltered outside deck to have it handy for cooking during the winter. One of the reasons parsley does so well for me is I space the plants and give them room to breathe. As parsley can get quite bushy, I use the length of my hand shovel
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about eight to ten inches as a measuring tool to space the bedding plants I buy and transfer into the garden and pots. I have experimented in the past with bringing two pots of parsley inside the house to learn how well the plant does on the windowsills at work and at home - they did fine in both places. I like the look of the French curly parsley with its milder flavour though I like the Italian parsley better for drying as it is a deeper flavour. With its flat, notched dark leaves Italian parsley can grow much taller than the French variety so it is decorative and tasty as well.
" Quickie Culinary Uses • Great for garnish; need I say more? • Parsley is wonderful sprinkled on eggs. • Just munch on it for a vitamin-rich snack. I wash a handful and then wrap it in a cloth napkin to take along on a picnic. • Make parsley butter or mayo and take advantage of its mild flavour and rich green colour to make a snazzy condiment. • Add to a simmering pot when creating stock or poaching meat.
" Parsley Recipes 1. Lemon Shrimp Linguini 2. Pasta Primavera 3. Rice Delish 4. Stuffed Peppers 5. Sunflower Seed Pate 6. Tabbouleh Herb Salad
" Lemon Shrimp Linguini This is a delish and easy to make entrée. Serve with a salad, steamed veggies and a loaf of hardy bread. When our children were learning to cook a meal, Charmaine watched the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and shared what she learned with the family. For the vegans in your family, substitute a combo of oil and a vegan nonhydrogenated margarine, instead of using butter. Linguini pasta Page 62 of 113
3 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter 2 cloves of garlic Zest and juice from one lemon ½ cup parsley 1 pound of shrimp Salt and pepper to taste Cook linguini according to package directions then drain. Melt butter then add oil and shrimp. Cook for one minute, salt and pepper the shrimp. Add pasta to pan and mix well. Add lemon zest and juice to pan. Roughly chop parsley and add before serving.
" Pasta Primavera I found this recipe in The Green Teen - help for parents in preparing meals for a vegetarian teenager written by Valerie McRae. I bought this small booklet years ago while learning to cook vegetarian meals; our friends the Coxes kids were getting tired of our stir fries so I adapted this recipe to suit our family. Pasta Primavera is one of those great summer recipes where you begin to buy all those fresh veggies from the nearest farmer’s market. Steaming the ‘hard’ veggies makes for a quicker meal. Carrots take longer to cook so you may want to add them first. For simpler sauce, create a white sauce and just add extra milk so it is somewhat runny. Being low fat and healthy on its own, you could use whole wheat or alternative noodles for more fibre and nutrients. ½ cup each of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup chopped onion ½ zucchini, sliced 1 red pepper, cut into one inch chunks 2+ cloves of garlic, minced ½ cup parsley ¼ cup basil ½ cup feta cheese, cubed 1 teaspoon veggie broth powder or bouillon
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¾ cup almond milk 1 tablespoon flour Steam the hard veggies until crisp about seven minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onion, red pepper and garlic in oil until tender about 5 minutes. Add steamed veggies, cover and set aside. Sauce: ¼ cup water and veggie broth powder to boil. Cook until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Combine milk and flour and stir well. Gradually add to water mixture, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Pour sauce over linguini or broad egg noodles, and toss gently. Transfer to platter and put the veggies on top. Sprinkled with fresh parsley and feta cheese.
" Rice Delish This recipe was given to us by the Zagwyn's, local family friends when our children were growing up. Rice Delish quickly became a favorite of mine for two reasons; we usually have all the ingredients in the kitchen and it makes for a complete meal. Rice can be made in a large pot to accommodate the veggies too. It’s hard to convey a dish that we just make naturally with whatever leftovers are in the fridge! Whether it is served either hot or cold, this combination is delish. 2 to 3 cups of cooked brown or white rice ¾ cup chick peas, drained and rinsed 1 cup chopped cooked turkey or chicken ½ cup grated carrots ½ cup raisins 1 green onion chopped finely 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 1 tomato, diced ½ cup cooked beans, any type 2 cloves of garlic, minced 6 lettuce leaves chopped Cook rice according to instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare or measure out the other ingredients.
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Mix together meat, carrots, raisins onion and parsley and add to the rice pot after it is cooked. Turn the heat off so all the ingredients will be warmed while the dressing is being prepared. Dressing: 2 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon honey ½ to 1 teaspoon curry powder Pour dressing over rice/veggie pot and mix gently.
" " Stuffed Peppers This recipe is adapted from the book The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook by Roz Denny and was inspired by the bags of red peppers we would buy from a local farm. We affectionally named that farm The Red Pepper Connection and for years have bought their seconds hung at the end of the driveway. Our family liked this recipe, especially when I mixed a cup of rice into the stuffing. Stuffed Peppers are easy to make and impress people such as in-laws, out-laws, professors or heads of state who have never made it! 4 red peppers, halved and seeded 1 small zucchini, cut into chunks 1 onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup of fresh tomato, chopped or 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes ⅓ cup parsley 1 teaspoon each of coriander and basil ⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled 2 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs To blanch the pepper, bring a pot of water to boil, then add the peppers for three minutes. Have an ice or cold water bowl, then submerge the peppers in cold water for three minutes to stop the peppers from continuing to cook.
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Sauté onion and garlic in oil in a pan for five minutes until soft. Add the zucchini and cook for a further five minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the tomatoes and herbs into the pot and bring to boil, and then simmer uncovered for ten minutes until the mixture is thick. Cool slightly, stir in the fresh herbs and half of the cheese. Spoon mixture into the pepper halves and place on a shallow heatproof serving dish. Sprinkle with cheese, breadcrumbs, then broil or bake at 350 until lightly brown.
" Sunflower Seed Pate I adapted this recipe from my friend Carmen who created it for our family. She was beginning to create a professional home chef business and we were the lucky people involved in her research. This paté is a hit with the family, and something that we could either eat that day or freeze to enjoy later. I have substituted a ¼ cup of sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds and it turned out tasty. To make this vegan, use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
" Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a nine inch glass pie pan with oil; set aside. In a bowl, mix together: 1 cup sunflower seeds ground in food processor ½ cup kamut flour ½ cup Parmesan cheese ¼ cup of parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons basil 4 teaspoons thyme 2 teaspoons sage 2 teaspoons tarragon In a small bowl, blend these together then add to the dry ingredients: 1 ¼ cup water 3 garlic cloves minced ½ cup onions, finely chopped ½ cup chives chopped finely 3 teaspoons Tamari sauce Mix thoroughly and set aside. Page 66 of 113
1 large potato ¼ cup olive oil Rinse, peel potato, and finely grate one potato to make enough for one cup. Rinse in mesh strainer to remove excess starch. Squeeze dry and stir into mixture with ¼ cup olive oil. Scoop paté mixture into pie plate. Bake for forty five minutes until set and browned. Let cool for two hours.
" Tabbouleh Herb Salad This is an excellent quick and healthy salad, again a recipe obtained from our good friend Theresa’s sister Catherine at one of my Ladies potlucks celebrating Women’s Day that I used to annually host. I’ve added just a few more herbs to incorporate the abundance of herbs in summer and to ‘mash up’ the flavours. My suggestion is to make this salad in the morning and allow the flavours to co-mingle for supper! Do not let the word bulgur scare you, even Charmaine as a child loved this recipe. I have substituted couscous for the bulgur and it was just as tasty. 1 cup bulgur ½ cup of parsley 1 tablespoon mint 1 tablespoon cilantro 1 large tomato finely chopped 1 cucumber– chopped finely 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons of olive oil 3 cloves of garlic, minced Let bulgur stand in covered glass casserole dish for twenty minutes in 1 ¾ cup boiling water. Meanwhile chop herbs, tomatoes, English cucumber and add into a bowl. For the dressing, mix juice, oil and garlic well before pouring on bulgur. Mix everything together, let stand in fridge for a few hours before serving.
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Rosemary Introduced to the world by the Romans, this pine scented plant is much loved today. I am so glad rosemary found its way to Canada. In ancient times, rosemary was believed to strengthen memory, which accounts for it being known as the herb of remembrance. I have seen rosemary grow over four feet high in Harrison in a south facing sheltered pot. Rosemary plants can last for about thirty years. I remain hopeful! Cultivation and Propagation More at home in the Mediterranean than Canada, rosemary likes our coastal conditions though requires a sheltered spot if you want it to overwinter. Protect this herb by mulching in dried leaves around the base of the plant. A south or west-facing wall is an ideal place to grow rosemary; insure there is well-drained soil. A perennial shrub, rosemary’s small flowers are needle-shaped and appear in late spring. Depending on the variety the flowers may be white, pink or a lovely periwinkle blue; all colours are a great attraction to bees. My advice, grow an abundance, judging by the amount of recipes rosemary can be included in. This is one of the easier plants to propagate. To do so, gently cut off a piece about eight inches long and pluck off the bottom 2 inches of leaves. Either put it in a glass of water to root, which can take a while or plant it directly in the ground. Hints and Observations When using this herb, do not go overboard like I did when I first started growing and using rosemary. I was putting it in everything until our son said, “Mom, what’s with you and the rosemary?” I cut back, only put it in recipes where it would stand out in a welcoming way. This herb is needle-like leaves are very strong and do not break down easily even when cooked. Remember if you are using this herb - either fresh or dried, mince it very finely. When a ‘sprig’ of rosemary is called for in a recipe, I am referring to something four to six inches long. By trimming rosemary often to use in your recipes, you will help your plant to grow bigger and branch out to a good sized shrub. Quick Culinary Uses • Add a sprig to lentil, bean, or tomato soups. • Oven roasted vegetables and rosemary – a match made in herb heaven! • Experiment infusing the flavour of rosemary by having a piece of rosemary in a dish you are making then remove just before serving. • Bean Dip: Puree one can of rinsed white beans with rosemary, garlic, and enough lemon juice and olive oil for dipping consistency. • Blend hazelnut oil, hazelnuts and rosemary and add to pasta. • Olive oil, kalamata olives and rosemary can ‘make’ a poultry or fish dish. Page 68 of 113
â€˘ Marinate wings in lemon rind and juice, olive oil, garlic and rosemary.
Rosemary Recipes 1. Grilled Rosemary Peaches 2. Herb Butter 3. Honey-glazed Carrots with Cranberries 4. Lemony Rosemary Crumb Cake 5. Potato Leek Soup 6. Roasted Roots 7. Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette 8. Rosemary Berry Focaccia
" Grilled Rosemary Peaches This recipe was adapted from the book French Women for all Seasons by Mireille Guiliano. I added this one to our familyâ€™s summer time recipes because grilled fruit is a fun dessert when guests do not expect their fruit barbecued. 4 peaches 1 tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 sprigs rosemary, minced Cut the peaches in half, and remove the pits. Place the peach halves in a baking dish. Mix the honey and oil, and brush the mixture over the peaches. Sprinkle with the rosemary and a dash of cinnamon. Marinate for ten minutes, turning over and basting once. Broil or grill the marinated peaches for two to three minutes on each side, until they are tender. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
" " Herb Butter Use this butter for freshly steamed vegetables, or for bread. When hosting a summer buffet, I placed herb butter in a chilling dip server to allow the butter to keep cool and not melt.
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½ cup soft butter ½ cup chives in season or green onion 4 teaspoons rosemary, minced finely 2 teaspoons sage, minced Stir together butter, chives and herbs. Let rest for 30 minutes for flavours to mingle.
" Honey-glazed Carrots with Cranberries When preparing this dish you can go one of two ways depending on the time of year. If you have fresh rosemary available, add the sprigs in with the carrots while steaming them then replace with fresh once the carrots are cooked. Or if you are using dried, crush it finely so there is a dusting of rosemary and flavour.
" 3 cups of steamed carrots - fork tender 2 tablespoons of honey ⅓ cup dried cranberries 3 springs of rosemary or 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped finely Melt butter in a medium sized pot and add springs of rosemary and the drained carrots. Toss occasionally for about seven minutes. Add the honey and cranberries. When transferring it into the serving dish, take out the cooked sprigs and add a fresh sprig on the side as garnish for a lovely presentation.
" Lemony Rosemary Crumb Cake You can add a few raspberries or cranberries to the topping. Cut into slices when cool. To really create an elegant serving plate, remember to decoratively garnish the serving plate with fresh lemon slices and rosemary. ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup whole wheat flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ cup honey 2 teaspoons rosemary, minced 1 large egg Page 70 of 113
½ cup plain yogurt 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces Juice and zest of 1 lemon Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with oil. In a bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and rosemary. Add butter and rind, cut in with a pastry blender until mixed well. Remove ⅔ cup of this mixture to use as topping; set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork. Mix in yogurt and lemon juice. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and stir until well blended and lumpy. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top and bake at 350℉ for thirty minutes.
" Potato Leek Soup This recipe came to me originally from André, via Martha Stewart so I have adjusted it to add more herbs, of course. Our first leeks came from our first walk-about at Limbert Mountain Farms in Agassiz. Their family farm grew vegetables for local families and Trudy offered us up some leeks that would soon be going to seed. Instead we brought them home where André made this great soup. Yummy. Don’t try adding the green tops parts of the leek plant as they are usually tough and too chewy. 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons butter 2 stalks celery, diced small 6 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced 1 small onion, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 8 cups of chicken stock bouquet garni - see below for how to make this 1 ½ cup milk ½ cup chives In a medium soup pot, heat oil, and butter. Add celery, leeks, onions, and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until very soft, about forty-five minutes. Stir occasionally, however do not allow the veggies to brown. Add potatoes, stock, and the bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about thirty minutes. Remove bouquet garni, and discard. Page 71 of 113
Working in batches of 2 cup at a time, blend soup in a blender. Place each batch into a large saucepan. Add remaining chunky soup. Place the pot on medium-low heat to warm soup. Slowly stir in milk and cream, and season with salt, pepper, and chives. Serve hot.
" Bouquet Garni In a piece of cheesecloth place these ingredients then tie closed with a piece of string: 2 bay leaves 6 sprigs of rosemary 4 sprigs of parsley 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns.
" Roasted Roots Balsamic vinegar and rosemary - a union of two magnificent tastes. Peel and cut the carrots, parsnips, beets and yam into one inch chunks so that cooking time is uniform for the veggies. While the recipe calls for a tablespoon of rosemary, I usually will put in 3 or four sprigs throughout the veggies. Coat a glass pan generously with oil so veggies donâ€™t stick too easily. 4 carrots 2 large parsnips 3 small beets 1 yam or sweet potato 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 5 sprigs of rosemary, setting aside one as a sprig for garnish
" Combine carrots, parsnips, beets and yam in a large bowl. Toss with oil, vinegar, and rosemary until well coated. Place vegetables in a single layer in the prepared pan; roast for fifteen minutes. Stir vegetables and roast for an additional fifteen minutes or until they are slightly crisp, golden yet tender.
" Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette The flavour of rosemary balances nicely with the sweet taste of balsamic vinegar. Page 72 of 113
Serve over a garden fresh green salad. 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons of honey 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped 2 clove garlic, pressed In a tall wide mouthed glass jar, combine all ingredients. Use a hand blender to combine the ingredients. Can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
" Rosemary Berry Focaccia Using any kind of berry to make this bread is a lovely combination with rosemary. Dust on top with a little bit of icing sugar, serve warm to pretend you are at fancy shmansy baker. Pizza dough 2 tablespoons of olive oil 4 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped 2 teaspoons orange or lemon zest 4 teaspoons brown sugar ½ cup cream cheese 1½ cups fresh berries Preheat oven to 425 ℉ degrees. Coat a baking sheet with oil. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll or pat out each portion into a 5-inch round, pressing the dough with your fingers to create slight indentations. Drizzle olive oil onto each round and spread oil to coat surface. Top each round with ingredients equalizing them over the dough portions. Bake about twelve minutes, or until light golden-brown. Remove from oven and cool about ten minutes. Spread with cream cheese, top with berries to enjoy.
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Potato and Rosemary combinations for you to try: ·
Mashed - minced rosemary, chives and cream – oh my.
Oven fried – brushed with oil, brown then sprinkled with salt and rosemary.
Scalloped – add rosemary, nutmeg and parsley to the milk sauce.
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Early one morning while on the deck of The Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove, California Michel and I saw a chef come out the back door of a neighbouring restaurant with his scissors. He walked to the back of the property and cut a handful of rosemary from a waist high shrub of rosemary. All the while, we enjoyed our breakfast of roasted potatoes with rosemary.
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Sage The word sage refers to a wise man; the herb’s name comes from the belief that sage was thought to create wisdom and improve one's memory. There are a few varieties of sage available in our area. I remember the first time I saw my friend Theresa's pineapple sage with its exotic flowering plumage—I didn’t think herbs had such showy flowers. The name sage is derived from the Latin word meaning health or healing powers. This herb has been used as a medicinal herb for longer than it has been a culinary herb. In ancient times, both Greeks and Romans believed sage promoted longevity. Sage was steeped in hot water to drink before tea became known as a beverage. Just like the song, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are grown in a row in my garden. I’ve grown variegated sage that is equally as pretty, although I generally grow just the ol’ garden variety of sage, which is beautiful in its own way with its light coloured leaves and petite spring flowers. And yes, you can eat the sage flowers, too. Cultivation and Propagation Sage grows wild in the Canadian prairies, thriving in the fairly dry soil and full sun. My mom told me that her mother used to go into the prairie to pick sage to use in her cooking. The plant becomes woody so I tend to cut it back to six or eight inches from the ground in early summer so it will grow back for another harvest. Because our village’s autumns are mild, there are always fresh leaves available, even at Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. Sage is perennial meaning the plant will come back year after year. To ensure growth, prune back hard in the spring to remove the dead wood and promote new leaves. To propagate sage, pinch a sturdy stem from a healthy plant in mid-spring and push it into moist soil in a shady spot of the garden. To keep soil moist until roots develop, mulch well with loose leaves as you would in fall. Hints and Observations An attribute of a healthy garden is do not overcrowd your herb so while it is a challenge to ‘cut back’ , pruning opens up a plant such as sage to the benefits of air circulation. Sage is one of the first herbs to grow in spring and the last to die off in fall. This herb can be harvested continuously until the first hard frost. In Harrison, we experienced a mild winter two years in a row and we were lucky to enjoy fresh sage still growing in February. Use immature leaves for cooking as they are less course in recipes. Mature leaves are best for drying. I either hang them to dry in the pantry or use the dehydrator; both work well. Quick Culinary Uses Page 75 of 113
• Cream butter and minced sage to use with beans or hot biscuits. • Sage is fabulous in herb vinegar when combined with thyme and oregano. • Snip fresh sage into cooked green beans sautéd with garlic and olive oil. • Fried sage can be a unique garnish, salad topping, or treat. Heat oil and slip single fresh leaves into the hot oil for a few seconds. Remove sage and drain. • Caramelize onions with ¼ cup red wine and a tablespoon each of balsamic vinegar and sage. Good on a toasted baguette rubbed with garlic. • A leaf or two of sage can work well in apple dishes. • Drizzle beets with olive oil and a couple sprigs of sage. Bake in foil at 375 ℉ for a hour until soft. Cool and peel. • Mix sage with goat cheese, cubed apples, and roasted hazelnuts. If your herb garden has produced a bounty of sage, try using it as a garnish on your holiday season platters. Fresh sage leaves and cranberries look lovely together and you can always hang the sage to dry after supper.
" Sage Recipes 1. Carrots and Sage 2. Garden Veggie Medley 3. Garlic Sage Butter 4. Lemon Chicken with Sage 5. Roasted New Potatoes 6. Veggie Sage Pasta 7. Vegetarian Stuffing
" Carrots and Sage Carrots with mint and honey are always a hit at our family seasonal gatherings so I thought this carrot and herb dish would be enjoyed as well. As in life, change is inevitable, even with carrots. 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cups sliced carrots ¼ medium onion, cut into long thin slivers 10 to 12 fresh sage leaves Page 76 of 113
1 cup vegetable broth 1 tablespoon honey Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. SautĂŠ the carrots, onions, and half the sage leaves until the onion is browned. Pour in the broth and lower to simmer. Cover and cook until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork, adding a little water if necessary. Just before serving, uncover and simmer to reduce liquid to leave just enough to coat the carrots in a glaze. Stir in honey and serve hot. Use the rest of the sage leaves as a garnish.
" Garden Veggie Medley Cut the vegetables into julienne strips to give the look of snazzy dish at a fancy restaurant. Watch that you do not overcook, a sure sign of multitasking. Serve this over whole wheat pasta or rice. 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium zucchinis 2 red peppers 1 yellow pepper 4 fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips 1 garlic clove, minced Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add oil. When oil is hot, sautĂŠ zucchini and peppers until tender, stirring occasionally, for about five to eight minutes. Add garlic and sage; continue to cook uncovered until vegetables are crisp and tender.
" Garlic Sage Butter Try this butter the next time you need to liven up a dish of green beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, or other green vegetables. Â˝ cup butter, softened 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine 2 large garlic cloves, minced Mix all together or process quickly in a food processor. Chill and serve with hearty bread rolls or use on vegetables. Lemon Chicken with Sage
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I say leave the store bought lemon sauce at your neighbourhood grocery store and try this recipe. This sauce can be made as large or as small as you like, just add or subtract ingredients. The chicken needs marinating overnight, so make sure you plan ahead. Chicken breasts or thighs with skin on, wash and pat dry 3 sage leaves per piece of chicken 1 clove of slivered garlic per piece of chicken Coarse salt and pepper 1 quarter lemon per piece of chicken Rub outside of each piece of chicken with sage then tuck the leaves under the skin. Place the chicken in a large dish and top with garlic, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge, turning over the next morning. When ready to cook, bake, grill, or sauté chicken at a medium temperature. Serve hot, or at room temperature.
" Roasted New Potatoes with Sage This recipe conjures up memories of my Auntie Leona and the big dinners she prepared at the farm, with veggies grown in her huge garden. One of my favorite memories is when we’d take a big picnic lunch out to the field; a real sit-down meal in the shade of a grain truck with fresh cut wheat poking out of the picnic blanket. ¼ cup butter ¼ cup fresh sage, chopped 6 medium-size red-skinned potatoes, quartered ½ cup chives, sliced diagonally Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook butter and fresh sage in saucepan over medium-heat about four minutes. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with sage butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to two baking sheets. Roast until potatoes are tender and golden, turning occasionally, for about an hour.
" Veggie Sage Pasta Use any herb flower blossoms you have in the garden, though the sage flower is will candy to the eye on this summer pasta dish. Instead of serving it in a large serving bowl, divide the among six single bowls and take your time to garnish with sage blossoms. ½ pound of whole-wheat spaghetti noodles Page 78 of 113
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 large garlic cloves, sliced 6 cups tomatoes, coarsely chopped ¾ cup cooked chickpeas 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, sliced Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about even to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, sage, and olives. Simmer on low, five minutes. Drain spaghetti, and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat.
" Vegetarian Stuffing Stuffing is all about sage. As my family got older and started to multiply in numbers around the table, we needed more stuffing than what the average sized turkey could hold. I started to bake extra stuffing in a casserole dish. It was also around that time that my niece Sarah became a vegetarian. She and I both think that stuffing is the best part of a turkey dinner, so this recipe was conceived with her in mind. I have fond memories of Cassels conjugating to visit together in the kitchen while I slip out to the garden with scissors and a bowl to pick the herbs for this dish. ¾ cup butter 2 cups onion, chopped 1 cup of celery, chopped or ½ cup lovage 1 red pepper, chopped 1 cup mushrooms, sliced thinly 1 cup sage ¼ cup each of thyme, marjoram, and rosemary ½ cup parsley, chopped 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, white wine or water 16 cups of leftover dried bread, cut into small cubes 2 cups green apples, chopped 1½ cup dried cranberries Page 79 of 113
½ cup lightly toasted hazelnuts, minced 2 cups vegetable stock Preheat oven to 350 °F. Heat butter in a cast iron pan and sauté onion, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms until they start to turn golden. Add salt, pepper, herbs, and vinegar. Mix well and remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine bread, apples, cranberries, and nuts. Stir in the cooked vegetable mixture until well combined. Toss with half of the stock and check consistency; you want the stuffing to be moist, not soggy. It’s very important to add more stock as needed, then taste and adjust seasonings. Squeeze a handful; if it holds together loosely then it’s good to go. Lightly grease a casserole dish with butter and add stuffing. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
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" Gardening is an instrument of grace. - May Sarton
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Tarragon In British Columbia, tarragon generally grows like a small shrub that appears to die back for good at the first frost, never to be seen again. However, like spring, this herb returns each year. Tarragon is one of the taller herbs in my garden. It grows well in sandy soil and sunshine, although it will tolerate a sheltered area. There are two different kinds of tarragon that I have grown in our herb garden. French tarragon leaves are darker green, long and narrow, with semi-glossy smooth edges. I prefer the French as it is aromatic and flavourful. The leaves of Russian tarragon, which is harder to find in B.C., are narrower than the French variety and is more bitter in flavour. Tarragon is sweet with a bitter peppery taste and is said to have an undertone of anise. Perhaps that’s why I like it—it reminds me of licorice. When I started using this herb, I put it in everything because I enjoyed its intense flavour. I’m a bit more careful now as tarragon can overpower a cooked dish or salad, especially when used fresh. Tarragon dries quite easily as its leaves slip off with little effort from the stems. This herb is one that retains its flavour when dried until you can once again pick it fresh in the garden the following year. If all you have is dried tarragon, I’m told that mixing it in lemon juice or wine will bring out the flavour.
" Cultivation and Propagation Tarragon comes back each year so make sure you divide it as it will grow too thick to thrive. Divide the plants in spring when the first few inches of green shoots appear. Digging up and separating the plant’s roots into 2-to 3-inch long pieces, each with a growing green shoot, will give you a new plant to use or give away. If your herb garden is slow to drain water, a raised bed is best for tarragon as it doesn’t like wet feet. Mine is in the middle of the herb garden so doesn’t perhaps get as much moister if I am watering by hand. In the summer, I make sure I use tarragon because it grows fast and its runners spread. Top with compost in February to ensure a happy, healthy plant.
" Hints and Observations I like to grow tarragon behind short herbs, like thyme, to help the herb garden retain an aesthetically pleasing look. Even though it will propagate on its own, it does have to be replaced every couple of years as it loses its original flavour and becomes almost wildtasting. I usually run out to the garden to pick this fresh when I need it, although it can be washed, dried then stored in a cloth napkin in the fridge for use in the next day or two.
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Though a shrub, its delicate stems hunch over when top heavy from the rain if not trimmed shorter. I clip tarragon back often to both use the herb and ensure there is good air circulation. This plant seems to thrive with a bit of a breeze in amongst its stems. Because it is so prolific and grows well in our garden, I like to clip long stalks of it and keep beside the kitchen sink in a tall glass to use throughout the day. I first rinse off the stall, shake it dry a bit then pluck the bottom leaves off the stem until no leaves are in the water. This keeps the herb healthy and useful throughout a couple of meal times. I can snip some onto my scrambled eggs in the morning, onto a sandwich at lunch or in a salad at supper. Tarragon also wonderful in a flower bouquet because of its tall delicate leaves. Quick Culinary Uses • Flavours sauces, salads, vinegars, fish, and egg dishes. • Goes well with onions and garlic. • Make a chicken salad pita with yogurt, lemon, chives, tarragon, apples, and lettuce. • Tarragon and mustard is a sublime combo on any sandwich • Puréed white beans, garlic, tarragon, lemon juice with olive oil for an appetizing dip. • Tarragon can be a key ingredient in herb butter. • For a fresh from the garden vegetarian pasta topping use a food processor. Liquefy ¼ cup butter, 4 tablespoons tarragon, 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, and 4 tablespoons of nuts. Stir in 1 cup parmesan cheese.
" Tarragon Recipes 1. Béarnaise Sauce 2. Christmas Cauliflower 3. Egggg-cellent Salad Sandwiches 4. Light Potato Salad 5. Miami River Salad Dressing 6. Naturally Good Tarragon Sauce 7. Nut Loaf 8. Phyllo Heaven Mushroom Triangles
" Béarnaise Sauce
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This classic French sauce is simply a reduction of butter, vinegar, and wine that is flavoured with tarragon. Julia Child must have had someone help with kitchen clean up because of all the pots she used to make her original recipe! Although I’m sure she’d agree that this is delicious, no matter how many dishes it takes to create it. I’ve adapted this recipe so you don’t use every dish in the kitchen to make it. 1 cup butter ½ cup chives, finely chopped 4 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped 4 peppercorns, crushed ¼ cup white wine vinegar ⅓ cup dry white wine 4 large egg yolks ½ teaspoon dried mustard ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper Melt the butter and set aside. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions in the vinegar and wine until the liquid is reduced by half and the onion is soft. Add cooked onions to a food processor along with the tarragon, peppercorns, egg yolks, and mustard. Blend until smooth. Add the hot melted butter in small amounts at a time to make an emulsion, processing the sauce a little bit at a time. You do this slowly off the stove so that the butter will heat the yolks and thicken them without scrambling the eggs.
" Christmas Cauliflower When my niece Sarah came for Christmas years ago I thought I would make this as a treat for my favorite vegetarian. At the time, Sarah was the only one in our family who gave up eating meat. Everyone loved this dish and it’s been handed up and down the generations in my family. You may need to double the recipe - it is that good! 1 medium head cauliflower ⅓ cup mayonnaise Juice and zest of one lemon 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons+ tarragon, minced finely ½ cup finely grated cheese
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Preheat oven to 365 ℉. Steam cauliflower florets until half done. Let cool and place in greased nine by twelve glass baking dish, sprinkled with half the cheese. In a small bowl, combine mayo, juice, zest, mustard, and tarragon. Spread mixture over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for ten minutes until it is hot all the way through and the cheese has melted. Cool for a few minutes to let cheese set, and slice into squares.
" Egg-cellent Salad Sandwiches I found the original recipe on Oprah’s website while searching for ways to add to my tarragon repertoire, and have since adapted it to suit our taste. I also find this spread good as a quick snack on crackers. Use green onion if the chives are not in season. Adding the tarragon after you process the rest of the ingredients will retain the integrity of the leaves. 6 eggs ¼ cup chives, finely chopped 1 - two inch sprig of fresh lovage, finely chopped 1 tablespoon green relish 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 tablespoons yogurt 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons tarragon, minced finely Put eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring eggs to boil and cook ten minutes then cool off in water. Peel and chop finely. Meanwhile, in food processor, add in order: chives, lovage, relish, mayonnaise, yogurt, and Dijon mustard. Remove from the processor and add tarragon. Mix in the eggs, spread on your favourite fresh bread, and enjoy!
" Light Potato Salad I like to serve this salad when it’s still slightly warm on a bed of romaine lettuce. Leaving the skins on makes for a hearty salad as the skins hold both the fibre and the flavour and shape of potatoes. Garnish with petite colourful herb blossoms from the garden. You really can’t go wrong adding edible herb flowers; they are there for show as they don’t carry an overbearing flavour. 6 to 8 small red new potatoes, about 3 cups Page 84 of 113
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons yogurt 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped Steam potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain. When they are cool enough to handle, cut in half and place in a bowl. Toss with rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set aside to cool. Mix yogurt, mayonnaise, and mustard together in a small dish. Add to potatoes along with chives and tarragon; mix lightly.
" Mighty Miami Salad Dressing I was inspired to adapt this recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, The Healthy Kitchen, when our bounty of edible plants from our little yard came together. I had just bought a small food processor and was learning how to use it. This dressing is both tasty and creamy. ¼ cup raspberries 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon honey ¼ cup olive oil ½ cup chives 4 tablespoons tarragon Add ingredients to a food processor in the following order: raspberries, lemon juice, and honey. Pour in olive oil slowly. Pulse until you have achieved a creamy mixture. Stir in chives and tarragon. If it is too thick, just add a bit of water.
" Naturally Good Tarragon Sauce I love this recipe because it is so versatile. It is good for dipping sauce with crackers, veggies or as dressing over cooked veggies. Though I use the food processor to make the sauce even creamier, a blender will work just as well. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons mayonnaise Page 85 of 113
2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 cup yogurt 2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped Combine tarragon, Dijon mustard, mayo, oil, and white wine vinegar; stir or process until creamy. Add yogurt and tarragon.
" Charmaine’s Tartar Sauce I always tell my grandson Fraser, “your Mom is a good cook!” and he agrees. Fraser’s mom, my daughter Charmaine came up with this recipe. Every time you step into the kitchen, something tasty is going to come out! Years ago I kept a blog where each month I’d post a recipe. I loved sharing this type of recipe because so many people buy cooking ingredients when they could easily make their own - like tartar sauce. If only they knew how gratifying it is to make your own. Mix together: ½ cup mayonnaise 3 tablespoons chopped pickles 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon of tarragon with pepper to taste. Serve with any type of fish. If you have any left over, spread on a sandwich the next day.
" Nut Loaf Ranger Sue, a friend from my Kent Harrison Art Council days, brought this to Mike and Rosa’s famous potlucks. All the guests drooled and asked for the recipe. This was the good ol’ days before Facebook. Nowadays Sue shares her ideas as the Fraser Valley Vegan to keep us informed of good recipes. Asparagus, onion, tomato slices, or mushroom slices may be used to line the baking dish. I have used a loaf tin and an eight by eight pan - both work well. 3 cups unsalted mixed nuts, ground or chopped 1 ½ cups bread crumbs 3 teaspoons tarragon
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2 teaspoons oregano 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon miso paste 1 ½ cup vegetable stock 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 egg, slightly beaten 1 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese ½ cup sun dried tomatoes or regular tomatoes, sliced Preheat oven to 400℉. Combine nuts, bread crumbs, herbs, and garlic in a large bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, heat stock in a pan and add miso to dissolve. In a cast iron saucepan, sauté onions in oil until transparent. When cooked, add onions, miso stock, and egg to nut mixture. Oil loaf tin or pan and line with optional vegetables, if desired. Pack half the mixture into the pan, and spread sun dried tomatoes and cheese. Add the remaining mixture and press. Cover and bake twenty minutes. Uncover and bake another twenty minutes. The nut loaf should be browned on top and pulling away from sides slightly. Let cool ten minutes, loosen sides with a spatula and invert on serving plate.
" Phyllo Heaven Mushroom Triangles Charmaine and I decided to try baking with phyllo pastry years ago only to find out how much fun it is to bake with! Yes, these triangles are time consuming to make with chopping the veggies finely however these appies are worth the energy. Creating these tasty triangles with someone you love to spend time with is not a waste of time. This recipe makes 24, enough to last a few days (if you’re lucky and an older brother isn’t at home). I have been cognizant over the last few years about choosing what recipes are best to create in each season. This is one recipe I would save for making in the wintertime, with the last of the tarragon that might look a little rough when picked from your garden. However, you might then have to use frozen spinach instead of fresh. 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup red onions, chopped
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¼ cup fresh tarragon ¼ teaspoon chili powder 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped ½ red pepper, chopped ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled 16 sheets phyllo dough 4 tablespoons butter, melted In a frying pan, heat the oil; add the onions and tarragon. Stir frequently for five minutes then add the mushrooms. Cook until all the liquid generated from cooking the mushrooms has evaporated. Place cooked mixture in a large bowl; add spinach and red peppers. Stir in the feta cheese. Unroll the phyllo and cover it with damp tea towel. Using this towel throughout the process keeps the pastry from drying out. Peel off two sheets and lay the double layer on your work surface. Cut the phyllo into thirds, lengthwise with its length in front of you. Brush lightly with the melted butter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the bottom corner of each strip. Fold over once to make a triangle; continue folding over as if folding a flag until you have used the rectangle shaped all up - about four of five times depending on the amount of filling you use. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat, using all the remaining phyllo and mixture. Brush the tops of the triangles with the remaining butter mixture. Bake at 350℉ degrees for twelve minutes or until golden.
" Gardens are the result of a collaboration between art and nature. - Penelope Hobhorse
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Thyme Nature would seek to have been in one of her kindest and most gracious moods when she created the thymes. – Louise Beebe, What Happens in My Garden, 1935
" Thyme is such a pretty little plant and it seems to keep its colour all season long in the garden. Another perennial native to the Mediterranean hillsides, thyme prefers sandy, well drained dry soil and plenty of sun. Thyme makes an attractive edging for the perennial border as it is slow and self contained - meaning it does not spread like the wildfire of lemon balm. Thyme is clearly the herb with the smallest leaves yet packs a punch. Whenever Michel cooks with it, I can always tell he has added thyme. Three different kinds of thyme grow in our garden. Generally I call them Big Leaf, Small Leaf and Variegated Leaf as I have long since lost their name tags. However, the beauty of buying the plant locally, you can see in the store how it thrives and find out its specific name. Small Leaf tastes the strongest despite its size. Leaves can be harvested for use throughout the summer as you need them, though the flavour is best when flowering. I will often just take scissor into the garden to give the plant a light ‘hair cut’ and use what I have gathered. The bigger leafed thyme is a milder flavour and the variegated - well it is just pretty to look at and I like to use it fresh. Cultivation and Propagation Thyme does very well in both our raised bed and in the ground. I love the look of thyme so I am training it to spread throughout the large rocks that edge the herb garden. Thyme looks quite sparse in early spring so I put soil on the herb. Then, when the plant roots, I can split it with the new roots intact.This revives the plant and helps it multiply on its own. Thyme does very well in containers and I am always able to share a lot of thyme throughout the year. Who doesn’t need more thyme?! Two places I have tried to propagate thyme: indoors in containers and in our front, shady flower box. Both did poorly and were quite sparse so I will not try that again. Like any new plant, remember to water it well when it is a young. Harvest sparingly the first year so as to have even more the following year. Protect these plants in our Canadian winters by mulching heavily with fallen leaves.
" Quick Culinary Uses: • Add thyme when a dish needs a something to round off the richness of a creamy of buttery dish - like mashed sweet potatoes. • Serve thyme with grains, rice and pasta. It also complements eggs and cheese.
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• Thyme works well with most vegetables, especially mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, carrots, onions, and beans. • Drizzle slices of feta cheese with fresh herbs and lemon juice onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 ℉ until golden on top; spread on crusty bread. • Thyme is a Mediterranean plant so think of using it whenever you are cooking with olives or olive oil. • For quick croutons: add 2 minced garlic cloves to hot oil in a frying pan. Stir in cubed bread and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Stir lightly for five minutes or until croutons are golden brown.
" Thyme Recipes 1. BBQ Pizza with Tomatoes and Thyme 2. Biscuits Full of Thyme 3. Marinated Carrots 4. Quinoa and Avocado Salad 5. Roasted Root Vegetables 6. Sautéed Vegetables with Thyme 7. Thyme After Thyme Dip
" BBQ Pizza with Tomatoes and Thyme This is pizza has Mediterranean taste for sure with the goat cheese and thyme. My sister and I had a pizza like this in Spain several times at a certain quaint restaurant in the heart of Nerja. We’d order medium pizza with a salad to share; so much fun and tasty too. When I came home I enjoyed replicating the pizza for my family. Two pieces of pizza dough ready made or pita bread rounds 1 ½ cups, or eight ounces of soft goat cheese, crumbled ⅓ cup of tomato sauce 3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped 2 teaspoons thyme leaves Preheat the barbecue with a medium heat. Place pizza or bread rounds on the grill and cook three to five minutes. Using tongs, turn pizzas over and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
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Spread with thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle with cheese, tomatoes and thyme. Close the lid and grill until the cheese has melted, about five minutes.
" Biscuits Full of Thyme I love homemade biscuits. There isn't anything better for a light quick homemade baked treat. Grandma Mary used to make these biscuits frequently though I have added my spin to them with thyme and almond milk. 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup white flour 2 tablespoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup almond milk 1 egg, beaten ⅓ cup butter 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped Preheat oven to 425 ℉. Sift together dry ingredients. Cut butter into mixture until butter is in small pea-like sized pieces. Stir in milk, egg, and thyme. Turn dough onto floured bread board. Knead a dozen times. Roll dough out and cut into squares. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for twelve to fourteen minutes, until done. Serve with butter on top…yum.
" Marinated Carrots I usually steam vegetables, whenever I cook them. However, blanching vegetables not only tenderizes them, it also brings out the sweetness and retain their crunch. Carrots are my very favorite vegetable and I am always looking for different ways to serve them. 2 pounds of carrots, peeled and cut into ½ by two inch strips 6 garlic cloves, peeled 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped Blanch carrots and garlic in boiling salted water for one minute then drain. In a serving dish, toss carrots with remaining ingredients: let stand for ten minutes. Remove garlic and serve either warm or at room temperature. Page 91 of 113
" Quinoa and Avocado Salad If memory serves me right, neighbour Judy gave me this recipe. It is such a beautiful looking salad. Thank you Judy! 1 cup quinoa - cooked 2 cups of cherry tomatoes 1 cob of corn, kernels removed 1 cup shredded carrots 1 red pepper, cubed 1 bunch asparagus, 1 inch pieces steamed ½ cup pitted black olives, halved ½ cup thyme, finely chopped ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 avocados Pumpkin or sunflower seeds, lightly toasted ½ cup crumbled feta cheese Combine quinoa, tomatoes, corn, asparagus, olives and thyme. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, juice and vinegar. Pour dressing over and toss. Fan about 6 slices of avocado sprinkled with the lemon juice on each plate and top with about a cup of the salad mixture. Sprinkle with seeds, feta cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
" Roasted Root Vegetables If you were to read this recipe books’ original draft cover to cover, you’d find more than one way I serve roasted root vegetables to my family. I like this recipe as it highlights two herbs that are most likely still around in late fall. Roasting veggies produces a crisp outer skin and a moist inner flesh if you cut them into smaller size. Stirring often keeps them from sticking and helps caramelize the vegetables deliciously. 1 small squash, skinned 3 carrots 2 beets Page 92 of 113
1 large yam 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped 2 tablespoons parsley Preheat oven to 400 ℉. In a large roasting pan, combine all the vegetables, 2 tablespoons of oil and stir to coat evenly. Roast vegetables for thirty minutes turning every ten minutes. Add remaining olive oil and continue roasting for another thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Check the vegetables with a fork and bake until they are tender. Garnish with parsley and serve. Delicious!
" Sautéed Vegetables with Thyme Always looking for a way to eat more vegetables, this is wonderful over couscous, or pasta. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup red peppers, sliced into strips 1 cup onion, sliced 1 cup beet leaves 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces ½ cup red cabbage, sliced 4-6 fresh sprigs of thyme Heat oil and sauté peppers with the onions in a frying pan. Stir-fry over medium heat until just tender. Add leaves and shredded red cabbage then sauté for two minutes. Add asparagus tips and thyme and sauté one minute.
" Thyme after Thyme Dip Didn’t Cindy Lauper sing this song with the same title? My friend Margot saw Ms Lauper perform in concert in Hawaii; this wonderful entertainer shared some empowering wisdom to audience. Meanwhile, this dip would be an awesome ‘show stopper’ at any get together when the gals just wanna have fun and eat chick food. 1 cup cream cheese ½ cup sour cream or yogurt
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2 tablespoons thyme 1 tablespoon basil 1 tablespoon parsley
" Blend ingredients and chill overnight. Place in serving bowl. Garnish with basil, parsley, and thyme leaves. Serve with crackers or veggies.
" I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight.... A Midsummer Night's Dream. Act II, Scene 1. Shakespeare
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Mixed Herb Recipes
I go to nature to be soothed and healed. – J. Burroughs
Herbs grow best grouped together so it must be the same when we cook with herbs as well. I included a chapter on using combinations of herbs because I have many recipes that did not call for one main herb. Cultivation and Propagation In the last couple of years I have split up my herbs in spring. Tucking the various plants into pots, I gave them away to friends and neighbours who have come by and expressed an interest in learning how to grow herbs. You do not need a lot of space or gardening ‘techniques’ to grow herbs, just a bit of enthusiasm. A few summers ago, I potted up ten different combinations of herbs and gradually gave them away throughout the summer season. It was fun to hear how others enjoyed growing their own herbs. One thing I have learned; having a mélange, or mixture of herbs in one pot frees one to experiment.
" Hints and Observations Plant the types of herbs that like dry soil toward the outside of the pot, and the ones that like more moisture, in the middle of the pot. You will have to find the balance of herbs which do not like wet feet, yet need to keep the plants hydrated. Make sure you have good drainage in the pots when combining herbs and also remember to water often. Most of my potted herbs have done best in partial shade. I place my pots somewhere close by where I would be able to clip from them often and would not forget to water.
" Quick Culinary Uses • Earla’s Favorite Way to use Herbs - Pick a handful of herbs, wash them and pat dry. Using scissors, cut the herbs finely onto a salad. • Italiano Oil - Mix ingredients together: ¼ cup sweet basil, ¼ cup oregano, a 2 inch sprig of rosemary and ½ cup olive oil. Drizzle lightly over warm foccacia bread. • Herby Burger - add herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley to ground beef for a flavourful burger • Bouquet garni - Bundle or place in a cheesecloth bag:1 bay leaf, 2 sage leaves, 3 two inch sprigs of thyme and 4 sprigs of parsley. Use to flavour soups, stocks or sauces; remove the bundle before serving. • Herbs du Provence - This is a traditional mixture of herbs used for barbecuing and flavouring stew or soups. Mix together equal parts of basil, mint, crushed bay leaves Page 95 of 113
or lavender. Store this mix in a jar during winter and in summer, an open wooden bowl. You can also use other herbs such as: thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano. • Herbal Seasoning Salt - In a mortal and pestle, crush 1 part sea salt to 2 parts of dried herbs such as rosemary, parsley, oregano and thyme. Use as you would salt. • Aromas together - Take a handful of various herbs and smell them together with your eyes closed. If you think it smells like a combination of flavours you’d like in a dish, it will be good in that dish. Trust your nose; it will never lie.
" Mixed Herb Recipes 1. Herbal Corn Pasta Salad 2. Homemade Tomato Sauce 3. Mojos Homemade 4. Organic Soup 5. Paula’s Fab Bean Salad 6. Scarborough Fair No Knead Bread
" Herbal Corn Pasta Salad We live in the Corn Capital of British Columbia so it goes without saying I’d have to include a couple of recipes with corn and herbs together. ½ cup chives ½ cup cilantro ½ cup dill ½ cup parsley 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic 6 tablespoons red wine or rice vinegar 4 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon lemon zest ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt 2 cups of dried pasta 1 crown of broccoli 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
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Corn from two ears of raw corn pepper to taste Place herbs, garlic, vinegar, oil and zest in processor. Blend until it looks like a sauce. Cook the pasta according to the directions. In the last minutes of boiling the pasta, add broccoli. After 1-2 minutes drain the pot. Mix together the pasta, corn, tomatoes, and herb sauce in a bowl.
" Homemade Tomato Sauce Our dear friends Kerry and Margot raved about the tomato sauce they made one summer and they were right. It was magnificent! The beauty of this recipe is that you do not need to use this exact combination of herbs. Try a combination of any of these herbs and you are guaranteed a fresh tasting sauce. Âź cup olive oil 4 garlic cloves, minced Â˝ hot chili pepper, use gloves to chop up finely 1 large red or sweet onion, chopped 10 cups of Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 cup each of fresh herbs such as: oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, chives, tarragon In oil cook onions, garlic and hot chili over medium heat for five minutes or until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and sugar. Cook down until sauce has thickened, about twenty minutes. Use food processor to puree. If using right away, add 3 tablespoons of the suggested herbs, chopped. If using later, freeze in bags for winter and add herbs when you come to add the sauce to your recipe.
" Mojos Homemade I may have added this recipe to other cookbooks I have created for my family and friends. However, good recipes are worth repeating... and so are stories.
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When we first moved to Morrow Road, we lived down the street from Agassiz’s first fast food outlet called Sam’s Place. They served mojos - deep fried potatoes and I saw I could quickly become addicted. I tried a few different ways of making homemade mojos until I came up with this recipe. Paprika is for colour and the parsley is for flavour. For a family of four, you will need at least 3 medium sized potatoes per person. Use the russet variety for their firmness and the longer the better; stubby mojos are harder to dip into ketchup. 12 russet potatoes 1 tablespoon herbal seasoning salt 1 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoons of parsley - or a combination of your favorite herbs ¼ cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup olive oil Scrub and cut potatoes length wise into wedges. Put the wedges in a clean tea towel and lightly dry off. Add the olive oil, enough so that the wedges are generously coated and sufficiently glossy. In a small bowl, mix together the seasoning, herbs and flour. Sprinkle on the potatoes and distribute evenly. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, spread out the potatoes. Bake at 400 ℉, stirring often for forty-five minutes or until wedges are brown and crispy.
" Organic Soup While attending a Harrison Art’s Council potluck one fall evening I was introduced to this soup by a member’s enthusiasm for his partner’s recipe. I adapted Olivia’s recipe and would like to share it. Like Olivia tells it, “Served with cream and sliced green onions or chives really makes the soup!” One baby Hubbard squash 3 or 4 carrots 5 small onions 3 cups vegetable stock 1 teaspoon cinnamon ... “she means a real teaspoon” 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon coriander in winter, 2 teaspoons of cilantro in summer ½ cup cream or sour cream Chives, sliced for garnish Page 98 of 113
Cut squash, onions, and carrots into small pieces and roast in a 350 ℉ degrees oven for forty-five minutes. Peel the hot squash when it is soft and add to the pot with the vegetables, spices, stock, and extra water. Simmer for a while, and then blend all ingredients with a hand blender.
" Paula’s Fab Bean Salad I was given this recipe from one of my pals from a group of women I have been friends with for over fifteen years. Paula says, “The lime in the dressing prevents avocado from browning, even when salad is made a day ahead!” Adding flowering herbs is my tribute to Paula’s sunshine smile. 1 - 19 oz can black beans or mixed beans, drained and rinsed 1 raw corn cob kernels 2 small avocados, peeled and chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 or more green onions, chopped Salad Dressing: Juice from 2 limes ½ cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables together. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients, pour over the vegetables then toss. Add the flower tops of herbs.
" Scarborough Fair No Knead Bread I named this recipe because of the herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme that could be added and enjoyed in this herb bread recipe. Other ingredients I have used include: parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, bran, and wheat germ. Make sure you have a heavy pot to bake this in; either cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic. This recipe is adapted from Limbert Mountain Farm though the original recipe comes from Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting ¼ teaspoon instant yeast ½ teaspoon salt Page 99 of 113
1 ½ cup warm water ¼ cup of mixed herbs In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add warm water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with tea towel. Let dough rest overnight at least twelve hours at warm room temperature. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly sprinkle flour onto walls of the bowl. Using a spatula, fold herbs into the dough. Shape into ball, over on itself once or twice. Cover with another tea towel and let rise for about two hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. Heat oven to 450 ℉ at least a half-hour before dough is ready. Place a 6 to 8 quart sized cast iron heavy covered pot in oven to heat. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under ball and place in pot. Cover with lid and bake thirty minutes, then remove lid and bake another fifteen to thirty minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
" It is never to late to learn the pleasures of planting and watering a tree, the rewards and virtues of herbs and plants in cooking and healing or the pleasure of making a bouquet of flowers - Charles Masson, proprietor of La Grenouille
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Herbal Drinks From cool Sangria and mojitos during a family reunion, to a quiet morning cup of tea, all of these tips and recipes have been included for you to create drinks using the herbs in your garden. If you make up the drinks the night before, then just before serving, remove the herbs and add fresh sprigs for aesthetics. Adding edible flowers just before serving as a floating garnish on the top or edge of the glass, makes your drinks distinctive. Cultivation and Propagation I have explained how to grow and multiply each herb throughout their chapters so there’s no need to pass along the info again. However, I’ll repeat myself here - when you have the herbs growing handy, you will learn to use them more. For example, mint used in many drink recipes, is very easy to grow in pots. Mint is a wonderful green filler in any flower pot. Hints and Observations Trim the herbs often by using them in drinks. When keeping herbs trimmed, the plants are more compact and do not go to seed. In recipes I will often refer to a sprig which is a small six or seven inch long stem of a plant with leaves or flowers. I use a lot of sprigs of herbs when it comes to beverages as often times you can use the whole sprig instead of taking of the individual leaves. Often times I will wander through the garden, clippers in hand to trim off sprigs that are getting leggy/ long. Mints have a tendency to ‘take over’ so be proactive by finding places you want them to grow. When volunteers do come up, I wait until they are a few inches tall. Then I pot them up to give away to share the plant. By rinsing herbs in a small tub of water in the sink, I use the leftover rinse water to give my potted plants a drink, instead pouring the rinse water down the sink.
Quick Culinary Ideas • Ruby Spritzer - Place chopped mint leaves, lime juice and grapefruit juice in a glass jug and chill. When guests arrive, pour juice over ice in a tall glass two thirds full then add sparkling water or soda water. • Place a sprig of lemon verbena or mint in your bottled water or a tall glass when company comes for instant flavour. So delish. People will think you are wonderfully inventive. • Serving fruity type drinks either in chilled glasses or adding frozen fruit helps the beverage from become too watered down from using too many ice cubes.
" Herbal Drink Recipes " Page 101 of 113
1. Ginger Cooler 2. Herbed Lemonade 3. Mojitos City Cousin Chris Style 4. Nikki’s Morning Shake 5. Rosy Herb Tea 6. Sangria 7. Simple Mint Syrup 8. Smooth Berry Drink 9. Sun Run Training Drink
Allie Smoothie This is a recipe my brother Alan, aka Allie, shared with his big sister. In his words... “the key is variety as no two smoothies are the same.” So he gave me a great suggestions list of ingredients with a good mix of vegetables and fruit. “Go heavy on the veggies .... makes the smoothies less sweet.” And other brotherly advise - best place to get a designated blender? Value Village. Alan bought two in case of ‘blender meltdown.’ Mix together: Oranges, grapefruit, bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, limes, lemons, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwis, rhubarb, raspberries, whatever fruit on hand. Miscellaneous stuff: Yogurt, ground up flaxseed, coconut, ginger root (raw--this is a must have, but don't overdo it) Veggies: beets, celery, carrots, all kinds of greens--lettuce, chickweed, kale, chard, beet tops, mint leaves, other herbs from the garden like parsley or minty things, other things that look edible, just toss em in. Parsnips, Juice: orange juice or whatever is in the fridge that's liquid, including rice milk, soy milk, or whatever. Blend thoroughly, and drink.
" Ginger Cooler This recipe is adapted from the book The Herb Farm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld. It is based on a Shaker recipe and was made to quench thirsts while working in the hay fields. I wonder if their mothers garnished the glasses with lemon balm or mint sprigs. ¼ cup honey ½ cup coarsely grated ginger, no need to peel
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2 rosemary sprigs 6 lemon balm sprigs 3 spearmint sprigs ¼ cup lemon juice ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate 1 quart sparkling mineral water or club soda, chilled Bring the sugar, honey, 2 cups water, ginger, and rosemary to a boil. Add herbs and cover. Remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup into a pitcher and stir in the juices. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Right before serving, stir in the sparkling water or club soda.
" Herbed Lemonade We experience a delightful staycation day with friends at the Vista D’oro Farm and Winery. It was a lovely afternoon and judging by the amount of 'foodies' who attended; the farm successfully fundraised to support a hospice event. Many people enjoyed an afternoon of ‘life being lived’ on a working valley farm. I especially enjoyed from my perch under a huge crab apple tree, two little girls serving Raspberry and Lemon Verbena ice tea. It was heartwarming to see others know what I have come to learn and share with others; adding herbs to drinks is fun and tasty. Here's my version of a refreshing lovely summer time drink, meant to be sipped while resting on a swinging bench. If you refrigerate overnight, remove the herbs and add fresh sprigs before serving. Adding the flowers just before serving keeps the drink fresh and beautiful. 1 large handful of mint leaves 1 handful of lemon balm leaves 2 or 3 long sprigs of lemon verbena 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary 1 can of lemonade concentrate, thawed 2 to 3 cups of water 1 cup of club soda Borage or violet flowers Make up the lemonade concentrate with one less cup of water called for in its recipe. Rinse off herbs in a bowl of water then shake off excess water. Add to the lemonade and let the pitcher sit for a couple hours to let the flavours merge together. Page 103 of 113
Pour the lemonade in glasses and add about a ¼ cup of club soda into the glass just before serving, along with the flowers and a small sprig of your favorite herb.
" Mojitos City Cousin Chris Style If there was ever a reason to have a pot of spearmint growing on your deck, this is it. A mojito recipe with a little Caribbean flair will liven up your summer evenings. This recipe is for single servings, be prepared to make a night out of creating these tasty drinks. My cousin Chris says he finds the "fancy rum" flavours detract from the awesome minty limey goodness” so there we have it folks - use plain white rum. This recipe could be adapted to make a pitcher full however; mojitos are the most fun to serve when there is one cousin is making the drinks and about 5 or 6 relatives are watching and waiting. 1 ½ oz white rum 12 spearmint leaves, fresh ½ cup lime juice 1 cup club soda or Sprite 4 teaspoon sugar or less thin lime wedges, one for each glass for garnish Gently crush 10 mint leaves with lime into a cool tall glass. Mix in sugar and fill glass with ice. Add rum, club soda or Sprite, and stir your mojito well. Fancy it up with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint.
" " Nikki’s Morning Shake My long time friend Nikki from Tofino sent this recipe to me when I told her I started running. She said to blend these ingredients and to top up with water to get the right consistency. “These shakes are very addictive” she said. I like to add a sprig or two of whatever kind of mint I have growing in a pot close to my home. ⅓ cup yogurt ½ cup of spinach, kale or sprouts 1 cup berries or fruit 1 small handful or a few mint leaves 3 tablespoon Hemp Hearts
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2 tablespoon ground flax Mix ingredients in a blender.
" " Rosy Herb Tea Whenever I see a rose, I will often think of my mother-in-law Madeleine who loves roses. This recipe reminds me of rose hips I used to see spilling over my gardening neighbour Ingrid’s fence in winter. The little red globes poking out of a bush would always a promise of spring and that the roses would again return. Pick the roses for this recipe before the have turned to rose hips. ½ cup dried red rose petals 4 tablespoons lemon balm 1 tablespoon rosemary Mix well and add to teapot. Pour boiling water over the herbs, then strain after 5 minutes or so.
" Sangria I cut up the fresh fruit in the morning and have it soak in the liquor during the day. Making the rest of the Sangria just before cocktail hour is a breeze and leaves plenty of time left to swing on the backyard bench. 1 lemon, chopped finely 1 orange, chopped finely 1 cup of berries, frozen or fresh 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1 oz. of Uncle Scotty’s home brew or a liqueur 2 cups of juice (orange or mixed tropical) 2 cups of wine (red or white) Sprig of mint for garnish Place fruit, liqueur and brown sugar in a large glass pitcher. Leave in fridge for the day. Just before serving, pour in juice and wine. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
" " Page 105 of 113
Simple Mint Syrup It’s cheaper and easier to make your own mint syrup for those summer mojitos than to buy it from the store. This syrup is also a wonderful accompaniment to fresh fruit, such as strawberries. It can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. 2 or 3 cups water 1 cup or less of honey, depending on taste 1 cup firmly packed mint leaves In a medium saucepan, combine the water, mint and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain and serve.
" " Smooth Berry Drink This drink is the best rational for freezing your local berries to enjoy this drink in winter. May be served as a dessert in fancy bowls with added sliced fruit and edible herb flower such as borage for garnish. ½ cup berries 1 teaspoon chopped mint ½ cup orange juice ½ cup yogurt Place all in a blender and whiz until smooth and thick.
" " Sun Run Training Drink While discovered the joys of running, I immersed myself in learning good combinations of food to give one plenty of energy to finish a fun run or race. Here are some choices, depending on what would be beneficial to your needs: Stinging Nettle - strengthens and heals connective tissue Dandelion leaves - good source of potassium while doing strenuous activity Peppermint – scent is stimulating and can enhance workout performance Green tea - energizing, has caffeine and some antioxidants too Ginger – an energizing ingredient to add in winter foods and drinks to keep you warm
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Place 2 teaspoons of herb in teapot. Boil water and add to pot. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the herbs and pour into a glass jar. Add one teaspoon honey, 2 cups of the natural fruit juice and stir. Let the contents cool slightly: refrigerate until chilled.
" Wine is sunlight, held together by water. - Galileo Galilei
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The desire, the capacity to enjoy, is an instinct, the love of flowers is innate, a remembrance of Eden. - Dean Hole, 19th century writer
Eating flowers from our garden is still a thrill for me. Who knew you could eat a chive’s blossom? Friends and family who see the blue borage flowers in our salads are always amazed... “You can eat flowers?” Because edible flowers are a new ingredient to many, there are aspects of edible flowers that the novice flower eater needs to know."
Important aspects of edible flowers to consider:" 1. Know exactly which flowers are edible and which ones are not. Do not assume that a flower is edible just because it is garnishing a dinner plate or is pretty to look at." 2. Do not eat flowers if there is a history of sensitivities to plants. People who suffer from asthma, hay fever or are allergic to pollen in the air will not want to eat the flower and risk a reaction." 3. Eat only organically grown edible flowers. Do not eat flowers from nurseries, florists, garden centers or flowers picked from roadsides all may contain chemicals." 4. Identify flowers by their Latin name when doing your research, as it’s the only true way to eat known safe flowers some varieties can be toxic. ! 5. Eat only the petals. To be on the safe side, remove pistils and stamens when able. There is no need to remove the ‘insides’ of tiny flowers such as lilac, basil, and thyme."
A good habit to get into is to taste each flower before you decide to use it in a recipe. Flowers do vary according to their variety and growing conditions. I have used mostly herbal flowers in these recipes. A chart of common herbs and their flower’s flavours and more of their uses is in the appendix of this book."
" Cultivation and Propagation! "
Flowers such as Calendula and Borage add colour to our herb garden throughout summer with a succession of long-lasting blooms into fall. Both are annuals and when established, are self-seeders. As with other herbs, picking the flowers helps to slow down plants that self seed and can be used in many dishes as a garnish."
" Hints and Observations! "
Take special care that all blooms are thoroughly rinsed. Immerse flowers in water to remove any insects. The two best ways to dry flowers are to either gently lay the flowers on a towel and dab dry, or gently spin dry in a salad spinner." If you pick them early in the day, wash, then layer blooms carefully between moistened towels in the fridge until mealtime."
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Quick Culinary uses!
• Individual florets of all herb flowers may always be used as a garnish." • Creative Crackers - Put cream cheese on a cracker and add a flower on top such as pansy, borage, viola, nasturtium." • To add a beautiful look and good taste you can add flowers to salad, a glass of champagne, chocolate cake, or on top of ice cream • Day Lilies and Calendulas are good mixed in scrambled eggs or an omelette" • Put flower blossoms in sugar and seal tightly for two weeks. This sugar can be substituted for ordinary sugar in cake, cookies or custards." • Sprinkle a variety on an iced cake - dianthus, rose, marigold or bachelor buttons" • Stuff nasturtiums with egg or tuna salad"
One of my favorite flowers to use is the lavender. Lavandula angustifolia is found all over the world. I was overjoyed to see it growing wild on a Spanish hillside. In our front garden there are two big bushes of lavender and I was trying to use its blossoms in recipes. However using too much lavender can truly be like eating perfume. The secret is that a little goes a long way with this petite beauty. Lavender lends itself to savoury dishes, from stews to wine-reduced sauces. Here are a few pointers when using lavender: - Grind dried lavender in a mortar and pestle to create a softer texture. - Lavender can be used instead of rosemary in bread and most other recipes. - Use lavender stems for making lightweight fruit kabobs.
" Edible Flower Recipes " 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Floral Crackers Edamame Bean Salad Herb Flower Pesto Sauce Lavender Shortbread Nasturtium Salad
" Floral Crackers "
This crisp, herbal cracker is dairy, egg, corn, yeast and gluten free. Make these look authentic by piercing the dough with a fork and by cutting dough in 5 x 3 inch rectangles. I adapted this recipe from Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cracker to create a nice treat for Theresa, my gluten free friend.
¾ cup amaranth flour ½ cup arrowroot starch or cornstarch ¼ cup almonds chopped very finely 4 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons water ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Page 109 of 113
1 garlic clove, minced Handful of herb blossoms
Preheat oven to 350°. Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Add olive oil, water and stir until dough forms a ball. If mixture is still crumbly, add water one teaspoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Divide the dough in half with a knife. Sprinkle a smooth work surface with a small amount of white rice flour. Sprinkle rice flour on a rolling pin and roll the dough until it is very thin. Use a 1 ½ inch round or square biscuit or cookie cutter to cut crackers or use a knife to cut even shapes. Prick top of each cracker twice with a fork all the way through. Using a small spatula, transfer crackers to two large, ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle tops of crackers lightly with seasoning salt. Repeat with second half of dough. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheets from oven and move the crackers onto wire racks. Put the wire racks back onto the baking sheets and return crackers to the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Cool crackers and store in an airtight container.
" " Edamame Bean Salad "
I never heard of edamame beans until Pat, a former colleague of mine ordered them when we went out for lunch during a meeting day. I wondered how tasty they could be. Packed with the goodness of nutrition, this is a good way to eat edible flowers and beans together.
1 cup edamame beans ¼ cup olive oil 3 corn cobs, grilled and kernels cut off makes about 2 ½ cups 2 tablespoon yogurt 2 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon honey ½ teaspoon minced garlic 2 cups of cherry tomatoes ½ cup of mint, including flowers ½ cup of basil, including flowers
Bring six cups of water to boil and add the beans. Cook the edamame for five minutes then drain. Set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the kernels are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
In a small bowl or use a food processor, mix together the vinaigrette: yogurt, lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Slowly pour in the remaining olive oil, whisking constantly until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Page 110 of 113
In a serving bowl, combine the cooled edamame and corn, tomatoes, and herbs. Gently toss. Add vinaigrette, gently toss and serve at room temperature. Use chive flowers as a garnish.
Herb Flower Pesto Sauce In the growing season when you see your herbs first going to flower, use them to create sauces for pasta. Experience with different herbs in your garden. This recipe can be served up as a condiment. ½ cup chopped hazelnuts 2 cups basil, oregano, or sage flowers ½ cup walnut or sunflower oil 1 - 2 clove garlic, peeled ½ cup of chives chopped ⅓ cup fresh parmesan cheese grated finely ½ cup parsley
Toast nuts in a hot pan until fragrant. Let cool. Place the hazelnuts, herb flowers, oil, garlic and chives into a food processor. Pulse into a course puree and toss with hot pasta. Sprinkle cheese, parsley and more flowers to taste on top.
" " Lavender Shortbread! "
Save your arms for yoga and use the mixer on this one. The dough will be crumbly, after you add the flour. However, keep mixing it as you would pie dough and it will begin to form into a ball as it continues to mix. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. "
1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms" 1 tablespoon mint" ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon raw sugar " 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature" 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour" 1 cup whole-wheat flour" ¼ teaspoon salt"
In a mortar and pestle, grind up 1 tablespoon lavender and 1 tablespoon sugar. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender, and mint; mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flours until combined then transfer to the counter top to use your hands to mix the dough. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill two hours or more until firm.
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On a floured board, pat out each square and roll out flat. Use a cookie cutter or knife to shape the shortbread. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1-inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with the tines of a fork. Preheat oven to 350â„‰. When oven is heated, place racks in the upper third of the oven. Bake cookies 20 to 25 minutes until pale golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
Nasturtium Salad Nasturtiums and their flowers are large so they have to be processed a bit - I pluck the petals off and slice the leaves thinly. These beautiful flowers grow wild in and around the hills of Nerja, Spain and I was lucky enough to find some seeds to bring home. Whenever I enjoy nasturtiums either in my garden or during a meal, I remember my time in Spain fondly with Leigh-Ann, my favorite sister. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 2+ cups of mixed salad greens 1 to 2 cups of nasturtium leaves and flowers Whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Add salad dressing to the salad greens and flowers and enjoy while dreaming of Nerja, Spain.
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Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is a symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world...are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life. - Rachel Carsonâ€Š
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Acknowledgements I was inspired to write this book by family and friends yet I am especially motivated by my sister to complete what have been our last project we undertook together. Thank You Leigh-Ann. I will always love you deeply and truly miss you. Other people who helped me to finish the book and get it out into the world were: my 4Friendswriting Online Group, my gal-pals who came through at the eleventh hour to help edit a final draft, all the delightful friends I have met through the Senior New Horizons Writing Project, Greg Laychak our patient instructor and Jen Sibley our lovely Administrator. The collective encouragement from everyone I met for the Herbs in a Healthy Home publishing project is immeasurable and so appreciated. Earla Dawn Legault January 12 2017
Copyright © 2017 by Earla Legault All rights reserved.
Cover and ePub book designed by Moonlight Arts Box 849 Harrison Hot Springs, BC V0M 1K0
This book is a collection of FAQs, FYIs along with anecdotes from my life. People, places, and incidents are neither products of this author’s imagination nor are they used fictitiously - the names are real human friends or family of mine.
André and Charmaine, just to reassure you, no children were given bran popsicles in the recreating of these recipes.
www.earla.ca Facebook https://www.facebook.com/herbsinahealthyhome/ Instagram earladawn01
I have come to learn that herbs are an easy and natural way to watch the cycle of their life enhance your own. Please contact me at email@example.com when you would like to share discovers of your own in your herb garden.
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The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind. Its presence is more beautiful than the stars, with more clarity than the polished mirror of your heart. - Rumi, From Wayne Dyers book Inspiration - Your Ultimate Calling
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