The five recipes below provide a nice balance to one's weekly meals, with a soup, a salad, a sauteed green, and two starch heavy dishes- one rice, one pasta. This week we included a savory herb mix which contains seven unique herbs. Four of the herbs are easily distinguishable- sage (large, smooth leaves), oregano (smaller fuzzy leaves with a rigid stem and some flowers), marjoram (tiny leaves with a highly aromatic, florally flavor), and lavender (beautiful purple flowers with a heavenly aroma). The other three look and taste very similar, but upon close inspection they each have unique characteristics. The most easily differentiated is winter savory, which has smooth firm leaves and a spicy bite. As a hardy perennial this plant has a woody and semi-evergreen appearance. It's cousin, summer savory, is not as hardy, and it's small leaves and tender stems contain a less bitter bite, but still have a very complex aromatic flavor. The last herb included in the mix is thyme, which is the most mild flavored of the three, and also has the most tender leaves. The best way to use the herb mix is to strip all the leaves from the stems and finely chop everything together. To dry the mix for later use spread the herbs in a thin layer on your countertop and allow to dry over several days, and then place the mix to a sealed contained. Try the recipes below to find out how versatile this mix of herbs really is!
|Spicy Sauteed Okra and Collard Greens||Creamy Potato Soup||Mixed Greens Salad with Creamy Dressing||Pesto Pasta With Blistered Tomatoes||Roasted Festival Squash with Kale Pesto over Red Rice|
| ||1 bunch|
Savory herb mix
|2 tsp||2 tbsp||2 tbsp|
|1 1/2 pepper||1 1/2 pepper|
|1 large scallion||1/4 large scallion||3/4 large scallion|
|2 cloves||2 cloves||2 cloves||3 cloves|
Bacon, 3 slices
|2 slices||1 slice|
|1/4 cup||1/4 cup|
Parmesan Cheese, 3/4 cup
|2 tbsp shredded||1/4 cup shredded|
Sugar, 1 tsp
Pasta, 1/2 lb (1/2 standard package)
Red rice, 2 cups dry
Chicken stock, 4 cups
|1 cup||3 cups|
Walnuts, 3/4 cup
|1/4 cup||1/2 cup|
White onion, 1 onion
Milk, 1 cup
Flour, 2 tbsp
|1 tsp||~1 tsp|
Roasted Festival Squash with Kale Pesto over Red Rice
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Microwave festival squash for 1 minute to soften skin which eases peeling. Slice skin from the exterior of the squash, remove the internal seeds, and chop into 1 inch cubes. Chop 3/4 of large scallion, or 1 smaller scallion, widthwise into rings. Add squash and scallion to bowl, toss with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, then coat with 2 tbsp of finely chopped savory herb mixture and 1/2 tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper. Add to a shallow cook baking dish and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
To prepare kale pesto- Remove kale midrib from portions of the leaf where it is thicker than 1/4th inch. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then blanch greens for 60 seconds, and then transfer to an ice bath. Once leaves have cooled wring them out before adding them to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of walnuts, 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of salt. Blend until smooth.
Cook rice in the water used to blanch the kale, plus any additional water needed, for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender. To assemble mix cooked rice with kale pesto, then add the roasted squash and scallions.
Pesto Pasta With Blistered Tomatoes
Mixed Greens Salad with Creamy Dressing
To prepare dressing- mix 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tbsp of Balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp of finely chopped savory herbs, 1/4 finely diced red scallion, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1 pinch of ground black pepper.
To assemble salad- Roughly chop 1 bag of mixed greens. Dress salad with creamy dressing.
Creamy Potato Soup
Cook 1 strip of bacon in a skillet over medium heat, then set aside for garnish later.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a deep saucepan, then saute 1 diced white onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add 2 cloves of finely diced garlic to pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Finely chop 1 bunch of celery greens and 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers (with the seeds removed unless you want a lot of heat), then add both to the saucepan. Cook until celery greens have wilted and jalapeno has become tender, then add 3 cups of chicken stock. Add 2 potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 2 tsp of finely diced savory herbs. Cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender, then wisk in 1 cup of milk, and 2 tbsp of flour. Allow soup to boil for several minutes, then remove from heat. Transfer half of soup to a blender and carefully blend until smooth. Return blended soup to original saucepan and mix with the remaining chunky soup. Garnish with bacon.
Spicy Sauteed Okra and Collard Greens
Cook 2 slices of bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain the bacon grease from the pan, then add back 3 tbsp of bacon grease. Slice 1 large white onion into strips and cook in bacon grease for about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced, and 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add a handful at a time of collard greens sliced into thin ribbons. Add 4 okra pods, thinly sliced, and cook until softened. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper to the large skillet and allow mixture to cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been cooked off. Serve with chopped crispy bacon.