Monday, August 8, 2011

The Herbal Difference

I have made a major change in my recipes this summer, due to the benefit of having my own herbs and veggie garden. For any recipes that call for dried herbs, I am using the fresh alternative. It goes without saying that the difference is PROFOUND! Not only are the flavors more distinct, and rich, but the dishes themselves have a fresher and cleaner quality.

I started with my all time favorite- Sweet Basil...I use this in everything from Caprese, to Marina sauce, to Turkey meatballs!

I use Serrano peppers a lot as well...usually in my Roasted Corn-Asiago Polenta, but also in my Spanish Shredded Chicken, and my Black beans....

Of course a staple of Italian cooking is Oregano. Gotta have some of this...

I have Thai chilli's for the first time this year, which the hubby enjoys along-side his food. He's trying to find the "hottest" chilli peppers based on the Scofield Unit rating. These are considered "HOT" with around 75,000 - 150,000 on the scale.

 I however, prefer using them in cooking, such as Thai fried rice, or Thai red Curry, or Thai Hot and Sour soup. These turn a little red as the ripen, and we also have some that are bright red.

I also have Thai basil, which I use in my Asian dishes, and here you can see I have a beautiful Dragonfly resting on mine..... 

Here's my Lavender, which I started infusing in Olive Oil...I have also chopped this up with some fresh Rosemary, and topped it with garlic and red pepper flakes on top of my Cibatta bread before baking.

Banana Sweet Peppers-mild, and great roasted............Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Purple variety Eggplant, Yum, which I use for my Eggplant Blanca Lasagna, or my Roasted Eggplant Hummus!

Eggplant Flowers......

Lemongrass!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more? I used this for my Lemongrass-Ginger Sorbet, and my Thai Tom Yum soup! I am planning on transplanting into a pot in the house during the winter, with hopes that it survives and can be re-planted next spring (fingers crossed)!

Cherry Tomatoes....delish!

I also have Parsley, Mint, Sage, Rosemary, and a few others...and NOTHING is going to waste!


  1. I totally agree - you just can't beat fresh herbs. Liking your idea of mixing lavender and rosemary together for your bread.

  2. Hooray for herbs! And great post. You must be so proud of your garden!

  3. @Hester, try it and tell me what you think. @Ruth-thanks, I am happy to have the herbs at my disposable, especially because living in Montana where my husband is stationed isn't an area that has a wide variety of herbs like this readily available. Surprising, but true.

  4. What a fabulous garden you have. Our friends are building a place in Montana and we hope to visit next year. All she talks about are the bears! I envy all of your travels.