I interviewed local herb expert, Paula Johnson, about starting an herb kitchen garden. Paula gave detailed information on herbs to plant, a soil recipe and suggestions for using a raised bed or whiskey barrel for planting.
Paula doesn’t just plant herbs for their beauty – she uses them in her cooking and for a variety of other purposes. I am pleased to share some of Paula’s favorite recipes using the herbs she suggested we plant this year. If you follow her advice, you’ll be enjoying fresh herbs in your cooking all year long.
1 small tub of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
4 tablespoons dried thyme or 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Whip until well-blended in bowl and then return to the tub to use with all herb recipes.
Rosemary Pork Roast
Set oven at 375 degrees.
Cut four stems of fresh rosemary, 8-10 inches long.
Lay stems on sheet of foil and wrap the roast in the foil.
Place on rake in pan and cook for one hour.
Remove and check for doneness.
Spread some rosemary herb butter on top and place back in oven to brown for 10-20 minutes, depending on size of the roast.
Thyme Country Mashed Potatoes
4 medium red potatoes
3 tablespoons thyme herb butter
1/3 cup milk
Peel and cut potatoes in ¼ inch pieces.
Rinse and place in pan of cold water.
Boil until tender.
Drain and lightly mash with thyme butter and milk.
Rosemary Popcorn with Pine Nuts
(from Atlanta Chef Sheri Clark in Southern Living Magazine 2004)
1 cup olive oil
½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
12 (6 inch) rosemary sprigs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
Cook oil in small saucepan over low heat for 3 minutes.
Add popcorn kernels, rosemary sprigs and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Remove mixture from heat; cover and let stand at room temperature for 48 hours.
Drain kernels, reserving 3 tablespoons oil; discard rosemary sprigs.
Place 3 tablespoons reserved olive oil and popcorn kernels in large Dutch oven.
Cook kernels, covered over high heat, shaking pan often until popping begins to slow down.
Remove popcorn from heat and let stand until popping stops.
Place popcorn in large bowl and add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, pine nuts and chopped rosemary and toss.
Serve immediately. Yields 14 cups.
I hope these delectable recipes inspire you to start your own herb garden this year!