go-to green sauce

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It’s summer which means the deer have arrived and they’re hungry. But this year for some reason our much-aligned deer are eating the Hostas that Michael so tenaciously planted in the giant planter he built from scratch (Suburban living has hit hard), and leaving my little herb box alone. So my herbs (parsley, basil, oregano , dill and chives) are growing like crazy.

I love seeing the flowing plants—so many herbs!—but I honestly don’t know if I can keep up. How much oregano can you use? Even when you cook as much as I do, there are only so many uses for fresh herbs. My new go-to use-it-up recipe is an oversimplified version of chimichurri/salsa verde which we can just call green sauce—recipe below. I keep it in the fridge and have used it to marinade a pork loin, on grilled fish, chicken and bread, and mixed in yogurt for a dip/sauce. It’s an easy way to add flavor and herbs to a dish without much effort.

go-to green sauce

Author:
prep time: 5 Mcook time: total time: 5 M
Use as a marinade, sauce or add to yogurt for a dip.

ingredients:

  • A handful of herbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2-1 cup olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste

instructions:

How to cook go-to green sauce

  1. Put 2 garlic cloves, a handful of herbs, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree. Slowly add olive oil until it’s a paste. (You can add more oil as it ages.) Store in refrigerator.
Created using The Recipes Generator

it's a wrap

During Michael’s recent low-carb resolution, and while mourning the loss of his beloved sandwich, I saw a brief segment on some talk show about using collard greens as a sandwich wrap. It turns out it works really well! Take the stem mostly off then soak leaf in simmering hot water for about 3-5 minutes. Dry off on a paper towel and wrap your filling starting at the bottom, then sides, then roll up. You can soak a few leaves at a time and then store them in a paper towel in tupperware in the fridge until ready to use.

It’s a good, healthy, low carb container for leftovers or your regular sandwich filling—turkey, cheese, tuna, even a hot dog. Then again, if bread is your thing, please forget everything I’ve said.

theater party

Theatrical Bruschetta

Theatrical Bruschetta

I volunteered to make party food for the Irvington Theater’s season-kick-off benefit party this weekend. It’s a lovely organization that I’m excited to be a part of—and excited to be bringing some exciting stuff to this often-sleepy town.

I wanted to make a range of finger foods that had some theatrical color and variety and came up with a spread of different bruschetta. There’s an artichoke and parmesan; beet and goat cheese; red pepper and goat cheese and one with plum chutney and prosciutto.

The decision what to make was based, as usual, on what was on hand—and started with those weird green plums we got from the CSA. They were small and sour and no one was eating them so I boiled them with with some sugar, wine and water until they were pulpy and mushy. That’s basically what chutney is. I paired them with their opposite— salty crispy proscuitto fried in a pan and added a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture (goat cheese mixed with cream cheese for extra spreadability) below it all to soften the blow.

The beets were also CSA remnants, which I roasted in tin foil then peeled and mixed with some cider vinegar and salt. The red peppers were even easier—a bottle of roasted red pepper from Costco that I diced and mixed with red wine vinegar, garlic, sugar, pepper flakes, and teaspoon salt. Those also went over the goat cheese spread, although a whipped feta would work too.

Left: Costco bottle pureed vs. right: Cook’s Illustrated recipe

Left: Costco bottle pureed vs. right: Cook’s Illustrated recipe

Finally the artichokes—I used a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that pureed canned artichoke hearts with basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon and parmesan but after realizing that the artichokes I bought in bulk were already swimming in an olive-oil mixture—I tried just pureeing the chokes with a bit of the liquid from the bottle and that worked too (a little more acidic than the original but definitely delicious—and since this version was extra I combined it with some sour cream for a dip I was asked to bring to a Friday night dinner party.

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I rounded it out with rosemary roasted nuts that I always make for Thanksgiving, crudite with a green goddess dip (made with all the herbs that were beginning their goodbyes in our garden) and a puff pastry cracker. Plus a couple basic cheeses and olives, all of which cost me a total of less than $100 to make. If it weren’t such a lovely non-profit, I would have quoted a much higher price.

gift basket

Michael’s co-worker heard that I was making foodie gifts and requested a basket for her friend’s anniversary celebration. Here’s what I came up with…

Serrano Blanco (Fresh pepper infused tequila)

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Beef Jerky

Boozy Cherry Chutney

Garlic-Herb Salt

Bacon Onion Jam

Mocha Cocoa (Add to hot milk for delicious hot chocolate)

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Raspberry-Basil Syrup

with gin, lemon and seltzer

It’s a great gift—email me to request one!


 

 

 

 

my new favorite diy

garlic herb salt

One of the new items I've been experimenting with is homemade garlic and herb salt. You know that nasty chalky McCormick garlic salt that's been in your pantry for years? Throw it out. This one is easy and makes everything taste better. Seriously. I've tried it on eggs, humous, guacamole, sauteed veggies, salad dressing and roast chicken. I now sprinkle it on a bagel and cream cheese (instant everything bagel!) Try it on top of toast with mayo (or spinach humous pictured above) and fresh summer tomatoes. It elevates flavor and adds a richness without overpowering. Cardboard up next. 

It does however take some upper body strength, so feel free to cancel today's gym plans. Or just order one from me—below!

jammin' now

making cherry chutney

I'm learning that mush is good. Fruits and veggies cooked down with lots of good flavor is a wonderful thing. For example, two of the latest creations (which both are amazing accompaniments to grilled meat, sandwiches or cheese)...

And an onion jam which starts with bacon fat...so nothing bad can happen.