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Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

6 Compound Butters to Flavor Any Dish with a Little Decadence

Health nuts may want to look away for this one, because butter really does make anything better. We’re not just talking about a pat of any ol’ butter from the grocery store, though — we mean compound butters packed with flavors that will elevate whatever you make. This applies to breakfast, lunch, dinner and even brunch thanks to sweet and savory ingredients like strawberries, garlic, herbs and cheese (well, maybe not all of those mixed together).

So next time you want to add a little decadence to your dishes, soften up some butter and let your imagination take over. But if you have a difficult time deciding what to throw in there, we have six dynamite flavor suggestions for any occasion.

The Perfect Brunch: Strawberry-Black Pepper Butter

One of Bobby Flay’s favorite brunch hacks is to make a quick flavored butter. His Strawberry-Black Pepper Butter takes strawberry waffles to the next level, but you could also use it on pancakes, French toast or even regular toast. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even make your own butter by shaking around cream in a jar and then adding berries — see Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark’s instructions for berry homemade compound butter.

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Grow a Kitchen Herb Garden in 5 Easy Steps

For anyone with even the slightest nub of a green thumb, the longer, lighter days mean that it’s nearly time to grow things. Fortunately, there is an almost-foolproof way to do that: Plant a kitchen garden. All you really need is a window that gets at least six hours of south-facing light (without scorchingly hot direct sun) and an ability to remember to water the plants (which is admittedly hard for some). Here’s what else you need to get started and the steps you can take to start an herb garden on your windowsill:

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Meatless Monday: Every Herb Pesto

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Pesto is a great way to use up fresh basil, but what about all of the other herbs? I’ve gotten cilantro, parsley, chives and mint from friends whose gardens are overflowing and in my own CSA share, and I am never able to use them up fast enough minus the few sprigs that end up in a salad or snipped over scrambled eggs. I end up having to throw the extra away. I start out with good intentions — I’ll freeze them or dry them to use in the fall and winter. But I usually forget about them until I see the brown bunch in the back of the fridge.

Kelsey’s Every Herb Pesto is the best way to use up assorted fresh herbs and to make a super flavorful, tastes-like-summer sauce to spread on crostini, spoon over grilled vegetables, slather on sandwiches and swirl into pasta dishes. Pesto freezes well, so make a whole bunch and freeze it for when it’s all grey outside and there are no green plants to be seen.

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Pesto, Six Ways

pesto

Huge bunches of basil are readily available at the market right now, and the giant leaves make the perfect base for a classic summer spread: pesto. You can use pesto as a quick pasta sauce, a topping for pizza or simply as a dip for grilled bread. Try David Rocco’s classic Pesto Genovese, which uses basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil. But basil isn’t a requirement for this delicious summer staple. Check out  a few more fun pesto combinations below.

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French Produce: Herbs, Beans and Greens

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Laura Calder's herb-flecked green beans are a Summer Fest all-star

Summer Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

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