Makes: About 2 cups Prep: 10 min
2 cups lightly packed fresh sage leaves
V4 to 1/2 cup Italian parsley V2 cup chopped walnuts Vz cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lemon (optional) 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Salt and black pepper, to taste Serve with: crackers or toasted French bread
Garnish: chopped tomatoes
- Put sage leaves, parsley, walnuts, half of the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until chopped.
- Add lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil through feed tube; process until mixture is creamy. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper; pulse until blended. Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately on crackers or toasted bread, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Garnish pesto with chopped tomatoes.
LEFT: Sage takes center stage in this pesto variation that makes a terrific appetizer when spread on toasted French bread (it tastes great on your favorite pasta, too).
Handle With Care
Fresh herbs have a color and flavor that dried herbs just can't match. Here are some tips on harvesting and handling them:
- Harvest herbs In the morning, after dew has evaporated Handle them delicately.
- If you need to store fresh herbs for a longer period, refrigerate them. Snip or cut off the bottoms of the stems, wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Herbs stay fresh in the fridge for several days, sometimes even one to two weeks. Some, like parsley and basii, can be kept at room temperature; place them in a glass of fresh water like cut flowers. Change the water after several days if it starts to discolor.
- Freeze herbs to preserve their flavor for several months. Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves. Wash if necessary and pat dry with paper towels. Stuff two to three individual leaves or a spoonful of chopped herbs in Ice cube trays. Fill the trays halfway with water. Once frozen, finish filling trays with water. Once cubes are frozen, remove them and store in a ziptop bag. Toss the whole ice cube Into your favorite recipe when needed
■t w v
Serves: 12 Prep: 5 mln Cook: About IS min
8 large eggs 1 cup grated Parmesan Vz cup milk 3 Tbsp mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, chives and parsley) Salt and black pepper to taste V/2 Tbsp stick butter 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar or mozzarelta
- In a large bowl, mix eggs, Parmesan, milk, herbs, saft and pepper with a fork until eggs are lightly beaten and mixture is blended.
- Melt butter in a 12- to 13-in. nonstick skillet with a heat-resistant handle
(or wrap handle in foil). Pour the egg mixture into skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 11 to 12 minutes until mixture is lightly browned at the bottom, slightly puffed on top and slightly moist in center. Remove from heat.
3. Heat broiler. Sprinkle cheese over top of frittata and broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned and frittata is cooked through, about
4. Remove from oven. Slide a spatula around the edges of the frittata to loosen, then slide onto a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired and cut into wedges to serve, j LEFT: Fresh herbs turn I an ordinary omelet into | an extraordinary frittata, j perfect for serving guests at brunch.
Herbs add complexity and nuance to the foods we eat. Experiment with small amounts and see what appeals to your palate. These tips wilt help you get started:
- Chop leaves finely. The more their surface is cut and exposed, the more flavor will be released
- Less is more: Be conservative in the amount of an herb you use until you're familiar with its strength. The aromatic oils can be unsavory if you throw in too much.
- Herbs lose their punch when overcooked. For optimum color and flavor, add them at the end of cook time. For cold foods such as dips and spreads that need time to chill, add herbs when mixing the rest of the ingredients.
- Create a saiad dressing or spread. Use 1 cup of leaves to 2 cups of vinegar and steep for two weeks.
Or, add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped herbs to V2 cup of butter, cottage cheese, lowfat yogurt or cream cheese.
- Try nontraditional pairings. Add oregano to barbecue sauce, eggs and casseroles. Basil adds a sweet peppery taste to cheese dishes, rice and salads.
- In recipes, keep in mind that 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried. *
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Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?
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