Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fresh Herbs

They Can't Be Contained!

Herbs impart a fresh burst of flavor to almost everything - salads, vegetables, sauces, grilled and roasted meat and seafood and even fruit and ice cream. If you haven't been to the Garden Center at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, consider stopping in and browsing through the potted herbs. We found these fragrant beauties willing to pose for a photo! 

Since many fresh herbs are available year-round, you shouldn't have trouble finding most of them for any recipe you might be making. If you aren't following a specific recipe, add fresh herbs at the end of cooking to preserve their vibrant flavor and color. Trouble finding the fresh herbs you need? To substitute dried herbs for fresh, cut the amount by 2/3rds:  1/3 tsp. of dried for 1 tsp. of fresh. 

Spotlight on our Cooking School Instructors:  Janet Hontanosas

Janet has been an instructor at the Cooking School since 1995. Fresh herbs are front and center in her recipes. She has a container garden filled with herbs she uses in her kitchen: thyme, Greek oregano, mint, chives and rosemary. She shares her recipe for Buttermilk-Herb Dressing and notes that you can vary the herb combinations depending on what you have available. Try chives and parsley with basil or tarragon. More than just a salad dressing, she says it's great drizzled over oven-baked breaded chicken tenders.

Buttermilk Dressing with Fresh Herbs

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper

Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, vinegar and garlic in a medium bowl until well blended; season with salt and pepper. The dressing can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Janet's Warm Weather Pasta class on June 13, 2013, will feature fresh herbs for a boost of summer flavor. Rita Heikenfeld, Cincinnati area's local herb guru, will also teach a Make and Take Herb Garden on June 6, 2013. Both classes are held at the Cooking School at the Fairfield, Ohio, location. To register http://www.junglejims.com/cookingschool/index.asp

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