Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Aida Mollenkamp
Prep Time: 15 min
For the dressing:
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoonfuls fresh lime juice
1 teaspoonful finely grated lime zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
4 ears corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
2 medium avocados, diced
1 /4 cup assorted edible flowers such as nasturtium, calendula, chive, basil, or radish coarsely chopped
Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender, using 1 teaspoonful salt, and 4 to 5 grinds of pepper to taste; process until smooth. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
2 mangos, skin and pit removed and julienned
1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
8-10 radishes, very thinly sliced
1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoonful ground cumin
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
Edible flowers to garnish
Toss julienned mango and jicama, red onion, radish and cilantro; add cumin, salt and cayenne. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes for flavors to blend.
Summer Squash Carpaccio
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 20 min
2 medium zucchini, green or yellow or one of each
1 shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs such as basil, Italian parsley, rosemary
2 tsp fresh sqeezed lemon juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise (a mandoline works best); arrange a few slices on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with minced shallots and chopped mixed herbs, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat to make about 5 layers. Top with grated pecorino; let marinate for 20 minutes.
Cannellini Bean Dip with Pita Chips
Prep Time: 15 min
Serves: 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoonful balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoonfuls fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/8 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoonful fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoonful nasturtium flowers, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoonfuls fresh oregano, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, parsley, rosemary and nasturtium flowers in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.
Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.
Tarragon Melon Sorbet
Prep Time:15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
4 hr 30 min
Makes 1 quart
1 lb diced watermelon, muskmelon or honeydew
1 tablespoonful tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoonfuls balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoonfuls freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoonfuls vodka or sweet white wine
1 1/4 cups sugar, approximately
Place the melon in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, vodka or wine, tarragon, balsamic vinegar and sugar and process for another 30 seconds. Place the mixture into the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F; depending on the temperature of your ingredients and refrigerator, this could take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Pour the chilled mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
BLOSSOM TEA SANDWICHES
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
teaspoonful of Worchestershire sauce
teaspoonful minced garlic
cup finely chopped chives or scallions
thinly sliced cracked wheat or white bread, crusts removed, cut into circles or small squares
lots of edible blossoms: nasturtium, chive, borage, calendula, pea or bean, herb, rinsed and patted dry
Squeeze chopped cucumber in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the water as possible; set aside. Blend together the cream cheese, seasonings and chives or scallion. Add the cucumber and combine well. Spread on bread and cut into finger-size sandwiches open sandwiches. To serve: decorate the tops with the petals of various flowers.
Homemade Herb Oil
1/2 cup rosemary leaves, stems removed
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tarragon leaves
1/8 cup thyme leaves
Place the rosemary and the olive oil in a blender and cover. Blend on high speed until the rosemary has been ground into small pieces. Add the tarragon and thyme and continue blending until all the herbs have been broken down into small pieces. Pour into an airtight
container and store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 1 cups oil
cup room temperature butter
Tbs. fresh lemon juice or a few gratings of lemon zest (optional)
3 Tbs. fresh herbs and/or herb flowers or 3 tsp. dried herbs or 3 tsp. herb seeds
Salt and white pepper to taste
Chop the herbs very finely or pulverize the seeds. Cream the butter and blend in the herbs and seasonings. Shape as desired and chill or freeze up to six months.
– Sage, parsley and chives for chicken, rice, pasta
– Tarragon or fennel, lemon zest, and parsley for fish, chicken, or eggs
– Caraway seeds and parsley for cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and bread
– Rosemary, chives, parsley, and garlic for potatoes, rice, pasta, beef, chicken
– Calendula petals, chives, and parsley for chicken, rice, or eggs
– Scented geraniums, rose, or pinks (dianthus) for toast, scones, waffles
HERBED GOAT CHEESE
10 ounces goat cheese, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
cup finely chopped herbs and edible flowers
Combine all in a bowl. Use to top crostini or crackers or stuff small tomatoes
Option 1: To cup of Herbed Goat Cheese add 3 to 4 finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil). Mix well. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Option 2: Make small balls of Herbed Goat Cheese and roll in toasted sesame seeds, finely minced herbs or toasted crushed nuts and spear with toothpicks for a quick appetizer.
THE TEN RULES OF EDIBLE FLOWERS
From Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate
By Cathy Wilkinson Barash
1. Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible.
2. Just because a flower is served with food does not mean it is edible
(see Rule 1).
3. Eat only flowers that have been grown organically.
4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers (see Rule 1)
5. If you have hay fever, asthma, or allergies, do not eat flowers.
6. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. They are contaminated with car emissions (see Rule 3).
7. Remove pistols and stamens from flowers before eating. Eat only the petals.
8. Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous.
9. There are many varieties of any one flower. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.
10. Introduce flowers into your diet the way you would new foods to a baby – one at a time in small quantitie
TIPS ON DRYING HERBS
Herbs can be dried in any number of ways: by tying the stalks into bundles and hanging them in a dry, well ventilated place; laying them out on screens to air-dry or using a dehydrator. Good air circulation is important to prevent the growth of mold.
For best flavor retention, do not dry herbs in a conventional or microwave oven as essential oils volatilize at 85 to 110 degrees. Using a convection oven fan with no heat is fine.
Dry small leaved herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram on their stems. Strip the large leaves of basil, mint, sage and lemon balm from their stems to speed drying.
To help herbs such as basil retain their bright green color, lay them out in a thin layer between paper towels and stir once a day to aerate them.
As soon as small-leaved herbs are crispy-dry, gently rub the leaves off of the stems. Store all dried herbs in whole-leaf form; don’t crumble, grind or powder them until you are ready to use them.
Store whole leaves in tightly sealed jars in a dark, cool spot or in the refrigerator.
To use dried herbs in recipes that call for fresh, substitute one-third to one-half as much dried herbs as fresh.
Herb and Edible Flower Reference Books:
Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, Fulcrum Publishing
Herbs and Edible Flowers, Lois Hole, Hole’s publishing
Wisconsin Herb Cookbook, Breckenridge & Snyder, Prairie Oak Press
Madison Herb Society Cookbook, Madison Herb Society
The Herbal Pantry, Tolley & Mead, Clarkson Potter Publishers
Thank you for attending my class. I hope you will learn to enjoy herbs as much as I do!