Summer’s beautiful bounty is upon us… now what to do with it all?! My herb garden is overflowing, and I’m constantly on the hunt for nifty new ways to make use of all these green goodies. Often the unsung heroes of the kitchen, I love to use herbs to transform simple ingredients into eye-popping, clean-your-plate favorites.
Club member Robin Hearon of Las Vegas, NV knows a thing or two about wrangling fresh flavors for maximum impact. Her Fresh Fruit Salad is laced with a confetti of fresh mint and basil. The unlikely pairing of herbs adds loads of flavor and makes for quite the colorful presentation!
“This is a wonderful and refreshing side dish that is perfect for any summer occasion,” says Robin. “The mint and basil gives this simple dish a very tasty and pleasant surprise.”
Cilantro, on the other hand, is Shannon Smith’s secret weapon. The Franklin, TN cook’s recipe for Fiesta Rice Salad transforms easily accessible ingredients like black beans, brown rice and peppers into a fresh and healthy salad, perfect for a hot afternoon pick-me-up. Ole!
Now, no matter how hard I try, sometimes I just can’t cook fast enough to keep up with all the garden goodness. Don’t worry; just chill out, is Donna Brown’s motto. She recently shared with us her technique for preserving the fresh flavor of basil; chop it, cover in extra virgin olive oil, seal tightly and freeze for year-round use!
I look forward to trying this method with other herbs as well. Have any of you had any luck with other preservation methods?
Now go on and get fresh! There are delicious summer dishes just waiting to be discovered. Feel free to lick your plates…. I won’t tell. Just be sure to leave the pattern behind.