Friday, March 18, 2011

Easy ways to try flavors

There are four easy ways to try out different herbs: butters or cream cheeses, potatoes, roasted chicken and salad dressings.

Herbal butter or cream cheese: Mix 1 T of finely chopped fresh herbs to 1/2 cup margarine, butter, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt or cream cheese. Let it set for at least an hour to blend the flavor; then taste test on a plain cracker or Melba round.

Roasted Potatoes: Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Cover the entire bottom of the skillet with a single layer of your chosen herb (sage, rosemary, dill or thyme are good). Sprinkle with sea salt. Place small halved new potatoes, cut side down, over the surface so the pan is crowded but there is only a single layer. Bake at 400-450 until the potatoes are done. The insides of the potatoes turn creamy and the herb fries crisp in the oil.

Use your favorite recipe for roasted chicken and try different herbs on different parts of the bird. When you eat the chicken, overlap some of the herbs in each mouthful to see what you like best for combinations. If you're not the experimental type, Rosemary & Sage work well with lemon.

Salad dressings are a wonderful place to try herbs out on an unsuspecting family. Buttermilk dressings need parsley, onion, garlic, dill - depending on your recipe.
There are many varieties of herb dressings at
or go to your favorite cookbook - chances there are good recipes there too.

I know a great blog with recipes that use many herbs too. It's at
I love the way she shows photos and step by step instructions. Using fresh produce and good varieties of all sorts of foods makes this blog a must for anyone who likes to cook. Check out the following four recipes to use your herbs: falafel, lemon basil salad dressing (listed with the Ruth's Chris Chopped Salad), hearty lentil soup and chicken pesto.

Have fun. It's easy to search for things to do with your herbs.

You'll find these recipes - many of them - on the websites I listed in an earlier post.

I'm really not teasing you about this, but I will post my recipe for pesto VERY soon.

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