Cooking with Herbs

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Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) salads (tuna, greens, potato, egg), use with fresh tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, in marinades, or pesto. Works well in combination with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Try basil on a sandwich of whole wheat bread with tomatoes and mayo. Also, wonderful in pesto and herb butters.

Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) chicken broth or stuffing, marinades for meat or fish, lamb, veal, sauces, soups, or egg dishes, often used in partnership with tomatoes, works well in oils and butters. Lemon thyme (T. x citriodorus) can be used with fish, in tea, and in salad dressings

Bay (Laurus nobilis) the bay leaf added at the beginning of cooking soups and stews imparts a deep, rich flavor. The leaf is left whole so it can be retrieved prior to serving. Fresh leaves are stronger than dried.

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) sausage, poultry, stuffing, pork, lamb, seafood, vegetables, breads, use as a spice rub for pork chops or pork tenderloin, chopped leaves are great in salads.

Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare) use in soups, casseroles, sauces, stews, stuffing, eggs, tomato-based dishes, chili, and pizza.

Chives (Alliums schoenoprasum) vinegars, soft cheeses, salads, used as a garnish, leaves work well in butters and oils

Dill (Anethum graveolens) dill seeds are often combined with onions, cabbage, potatoes, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Seeds can be added to casseroles, lamb, fish, vegetable dishes, and sauces. Chopped or whole dill weed can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, meat dishes, pasta, eggs and used to enhance sauces, dips, butters and cheeses.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) soups, stews, gravies, salads, meat and potatoes, used as a garnish and a breath freshener. Be generous with this herb in tomato dishes

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) lamb, venison, poultry, soups, stews, fish, tomato sauces, vegetables, marinades, can be used as skewers for vegetables and meats on the grill, works well in a trio with sage and thyme, or with garlic and thyme, tastes great on steamed red potatoes or peas.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) beverages, an ingredient in herbes de Provence blends and in a variety of sweet dishes. Lavandula angustifolia is best for culinary use and flowers should be harvested just prior to opening and dried before use. Infusions can be made with fresh flowers and used in recipes . cup fresh lavender flowers to 3 cups distilled water, in a nonreactive pan, bring water to a boil and pour over flowers; steep for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Resources to try: The Herb Society of America’s Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herbs edited by: Katherine K. Schlosser

​Herb of the Month:  Pineapple Sage

Banana Pineapple Sage Smoothie

3⁄4 cup fruit flavored or vanilla non-fat yogurt 
1 teaspoon honey
 1 small banana 
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon chopped pineapple sage 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Michele Brown and Pat Stewart of Possum Creek Herb Farm The Essential Herbal Magazine May/June 2007 issue

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake

1 cup butter, room temperature 
1 cup sugar 
1⁄4 cup honey (light wildflower or sage preferred)
 5 eggs
 2 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage leaves (small, new leaves have the most flavor) 
3 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage flowers (optional)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 
4 tablespoons well-squeezed, chopped pineapple 
1 teaspoon baking powder
 2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat one minute after each addition. Beat in sage leaves, flowers and lemon peel. Stir dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Fold these together gently until just blended. Pour into 4 mini loaf pans (6”x3”x2”). Bake at 350 ̊F for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Michele Brown and Pat Stewart of Possum Creek Herb Farm The Essential Herbal Magazine May/June 2007 issue

Cannellini Bean Dip with Pineapple Sage
Give your classic hummus a twist by adding pineapple sage. The perfect dip to take to a picnic along with a bag of pita chips.– Colleen Delawder

1 15.5-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped 
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor, except for the olive oil. Begin to puree, while slowly adding the olive oil. Puree until you reach a smooth consistency.
Serves 4 to 10