From the Herb Basket

bouquet-garni

Here are some ideas and recipes for using herbs from the autumn herb garden:

Traditional Bouquet Garni

3 parsley stalks
3 thyme sprigs
1 large bay leaf
1 celery stalk
1 sprig of sage

Place the herbs in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Lower the cheesecloth into chicken, beef or vegetable stock. Simmer gently for about an hour.

Fruit and Citrus Bouquet Garni

2 parsley stalks
3 thyme sprigs
1 large bay leaf
3 twists of lemon peel
3 twists of orange peel

Place the herbs and peel in cheesecloth and tie up with string. Use in fish stock, for cooking or steaming vegetables, rice or pastas. Use the citrus flavored stock for poaching whole salmon, shrimp or tuna.

Cilantro Relish

2 cups of finely minced cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of spearmint leaves
2 cloves of finely minced garlic
Juice of one lemon
1 small minced hot chili pepper, remove the seeds first.
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Mix herbs, garlic, pepper and nuts in a small bowl. Add oil and lemon juice, mixing well. Cover and chill. Serve relish with sliced, cold chicken, roast beef, cold cuts.

Crock Pot Green Beans

3 fresh thyme sprigs

2 – 16 ounce cans of green beans
2 chicken or beef bouillion cubes
Fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine

Set the crock pot on low. Pour green beans, liquid included, into pot. Add bouillion cubes and butter. Simmer on low all day. During the last hour of cooking, add the thyme sprigs.

Herb combinations for salt- free cooking

Fish:

Minced fresh dill, lemon juice, mustard seed

Minced fresh lovage, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fennel, bay leaves, grated lemon peel

Yellow, white and orange vegetables

Cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, minced thyme

White vinegar, minced garlic, or tarragon

Minced lemon balm, lemon zest and grated ginger

For cheese and eggs:

Minced dill and fresh chopped chives

Grated onion and chopped thyme

Minced oregano and basil

Minced parsley and paprika

For beans, rice and other grains:

Chiles, cumin seeds, fresh oregano, garlic

Minced cilantro, parsley, mint

Mint, grated lemon or orange peel, thyme

Pumpkin-Sage Cream Sauce

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

16 large fresh sage leaves, sliced in thin strips

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Your favorite pasta, cooked. I prepared the bow-ties, and it was delicious

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, pumpkin, cheese, sage, pepper. Simmer the mixture until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.

~ Meadow Walker

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