Fresh Herb Garden
Every year I look forward to Spring time and planting my herb garden. In clay pots I place them sitting on top and around an antique iron bench on my patio located in full and partial shade provided throughout the day.
This year I planted basil, chives, Greek oregano, thyme, Italian flat-leaf parsley, mint and cilantro.
BASIL — Perfect for so many dishes and for home made pesto.
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor with a blade attachment add the basil, garlic, and pine nuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil slowly and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste then stir in the cheese.
CHIVES — Great as a garnish for soups or chopped and added to scrambled eggs.
GREEK OREGANO — Best used in tomato sauces, seasoning fish, meat or even egg dishes.
THYME — Wonderful herb used in so many ways… bean, egg or vegetable dishes, used to flavor breads, vinegars, marinades and in bouquet garni.
ITALIAN PARSLEY (flat-leaf) — I use Italian parsley in sauces, ricotta fillings, meat balls, etc. and it’s terrific used as a garnish.
MINT — Wonderful used in teas or other drinks such as a Mojito or Mint Julips. Perfect for making a mint sauce for roast lamb or pork and always a picture perfect garnish for ice cream and chocolate desserts.
2-3 ounces light rum
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
3-4 fresh mint sprigs
Place the mint and sugar in a tall cocktail mixer, add a splash of soda water and lightly mash until the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass, add the rum and shake with ice. Strain over ice in a tall cocktail glass. Top with soda water and garnish with mint sprigs.
CILANTRO — Mainly used is Spanish, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian and South American dishes. Used like parsley in many dishes, minced or puréed in sauces, soups and curries. In Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. it is used in everything from salsas and salads to burritos or meat dishes.