Fresh herbs transform the dish. My Chef Nancy brings us some of her favorite herbalicious recipes this month. Plus, Fayette Woman is giving away a kitchen herb garden in April.
There’s never been a better time to take the kitchen gardening plunge. Let’s stir it up, girls!
Visiting Cinque Terra in Italy opened my eyes to the many ways to use pesto. They have ridges of basil growing and some of the best olive oils to blend with them. You can swap out our famous Georgia pecans for the pinenuts, but the pinenuts add a creaminess to traditional pesto. No don’t use it just on pasta! Mix up that pasta with fresh veggies and protein. It is awesome on chicken, fish and even steak.
- 8 Cups packed basil leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- cup toasted pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
- 2 large lemons, juiced
- teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Process garlic cloves in food processor to tiny mince. Add basil, pine nuts, salt and lemon juice. Pulse until well chopped. While the processor is on, slowly pour in olive oil until a medium paste like consistency. Serving size cup : 8 servings per recipe.
We first learned how to make chimichurri when we took cooking classes in Argentina. It was one of the most amazing scents I have ever experience, when you spoon this fresh herb mixture over freshly grilled steak, chicken, seafood or vegetables. You can change up the recipe to include any herbs you have available. I have used mint, thyme, oregano and basil. Only rule I use is to make sure flat leaf parsley is at least half of the herb mixture. I have used lemon with it instead of red wine vinegar too. Play around with recipes; after all they are only suggestions!
- 1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves finely chopped, or herbs of your choice
- 3 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoons salt
- teaspoon red pepper flakes
- teaspoon ground black pepper
- cup olive oil
Put the parsley, cilantro, capers and garlic in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the vinegar, salt, red and black pepper and stir. Pour in the olive oil and mix until well combined. Let sit for 30 minutes so that the flavors blend.
Pan Roasted Potatoes
I call these ‘Debbie Potatoes’ as my best friend made these for me the first time I remember eating them. I have gone beyond ‘Debbie Potatoes’ with this recipe and hope you will make it your own special recipe too. Switch out and mix up veggies, try rutabaga, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, squash, even grape tomatoes. The scent of the roasted garlic and rosemary will bring everyone to the table quickly!
- 1 pound small Red Potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Branches fresh Rosemary
- 6 whole Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Preheat oven to 425û. Cut potatoes in 2 inch pieces (or about). Spread on cookie sheet, scatter garlic, rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until nicely golden. Turn over potatoes about 1/2 way through for even browning. Drizzle potatoes with balsamic vinegar and toss. Remove rosemary stems.
Quinoa Salad Recipe with Lime and Fresh Mint
Mint is a fabulous herb to have in your garden. First it will grow, and take over anywhere you put it. Add fresh mint to your tea, or just brew some mint sun tea. Add it to all salads, I especially love it in a Greek Salad and fruit salad. This Quinoa Salad packs a lot of flavor and is full of protein to keep you full for a while.
This cool Spring salad (which just so happens to be vegan and naturally gluten-free) reminds me of tabbouleh–a Middle Eastern salad I love. What makes this quinoa salad taste so fabulous? Fresh mint, lime juice and good tasting extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 2 limes
- 2-3 fresh mint sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or parsley
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- A handful of sweet and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion, or use 2 chopped scallions
- 1 garlic clove, minced
First, rinse your quinoa in a sieve (it’s tiny so the usual colander might not do).
Cook the quinoa as you would raw rice: in 2 and 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups fresh salted water, covered, until all of the water is absorbed. I use my rice cooker to do this. The quinoa turns out fluffy, tender and perfect. Scoop the cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, tossing lightly with a fork until combined. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Cover and chill–the longer, the better. In fact, I think this salad tastes better the second day, so plan ahead and make it the day before.
Makes 4-6 servings.