BASIC HERBAL RECIPES
Soften one-half stick unsalted butter. Add one tablespoon finely minced fresh or one-half teaspoon dried herb. Cream together, adding a few drops of lemon juice. Use on hot breads, vegetables, baked potatoes. Herbs to use: basil, tarragon, thyme, chives, dill, parsley, marjoram, rosemary.
Clean and dry wide-mouth glass jars. Gather fresh herbs. If dusty rinse in cold water and pat dry (water clouds vinegar.) Fill jar lightly with herbs. Heat, do not boil good cider or wine vinegar. Pour vinegar over herb, cover with lid or waxed paper. Leave jar at room temperature for two to three weeks. Strain through cheesecloth and bottle. Leave a sprig of herb in the bottle to intensify flavor on standing. Herbs to use: dill, basil, salad burnet, tarragon, mint.
2 cups herb infusion (see below)
1/4 cup vinegar or apple cider
4 ˝ cups sugar
Heat the above until sugar is dissolved over high heat. When boiling, add one-half bottle liquid pectin (one pouch.) Cook at a rolling boil for 1 ˝ minutes. Remove from heat. Add one or two drops food coloring if desired. Fill jelly jars, process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Herbs to use: sage, basil, thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, mint.
Infusion: Pour 2 ˝ cups boiling water over 1 cup fresh herb. Let cool and strain.
1 pint pure virgin olive oil
1 large handful (about one cup chopped) fresh herbs.
Use more for milder herbs like chervil and dill; less with strong herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 whole fresh or dry hot pepper, optional
Wash, dry, and roughly chop the herbs. Place herbs, garlic and hot pepper in a clean pint jar. Cover with olive oil, making sure that you have at least one inch of oil on top of the herbs. Refrigerate for 10 days to 2 weeks. (The olive oil will solidify but reliquifies after a few minutes at room temperature.) Taste after 2 weeks. If herb flavor is not strong enough, refrigerate for another week. Once the oil is flavorful, bring to room temperature and strain, putting the flavored oil back into the refrigerator to store. This will keep well for 3 months for use in salad dressings or as a substitute for butter on steamed vegetables.
Yogurt Cheese Spread
2 cups plain low or non-fat yogurt (or you may use cottage cheese)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely grated carrot
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Add the yogurt and strain for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Combine remaining ingredients with the strained yogurt and serve as a dip or spread. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Herb and Garlic Grilled Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon each chopped Tarragon, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and Mint leaves
(or 1 teaspoon each, dried)
˝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 whole chicken breasts, split and skinned if desired