Cooking with Herbs

Whether you are an avid gardener, a patio garden, or not a gardener at all…you MUST take advantage of the summer herbs that are bountiful this time of year.   Lush, sweet basil leaves transform into pesto.  Earthy, zesty cilantro makes pico de gallo.   Beyond these obvious crowd-pleasers, how can we get more creative with fresh herbs, which are a fleeting gift from the earth?  Here are a few ideas.



greek spinach dip


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup roughly chopped shallots
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced garlic
12 ounces spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add shallots, onions, chives, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 2 minutes.

2. Scoop spinach into a food processor; pulse until roughly puréed, about 5 pulses. Add remaining ingredients except pepper, pulse once just to combine, then season to taste with pepper.  Serve with crudites and fresh pita bread.

fresh herb salad
3 qts lightly packed mixed greens
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Put greens and herbs in a large salad bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl, add to greens, and toss to mix.



images via sunset, popsugar

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