May 2019 - The Herb Garden

Strawberry, Basil, & Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Yield:  6 appetizer portion

Ingredients:

1 ½ c. thinly sliced native strawberries

2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 small baguette, sliced ½” thick

Extra-virgin olive oil

6-8 oz. crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature

Cracked black pepper

Fresh basil leaves, finely shredded

Toss together the strawberries and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to release juices. Preheat the oven to 400 and brush both sides of the bread generously with olive oil.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bread is toasted and golden (the bread can also be cooked on a medium-high grill or in a hot skillet). Top the warm toasts with goat cheese and season with black pepper.  Place a few marinated strawberries on each toast and drizzle lightly with some of the juices.  Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

Variations:  This recipe can be made with other soft cheeses such as blue cheese, marscapone, brie, or ricotta.

Herb Salad with Farm Eggs

Yields: 6 servings

2 c. lightly packed torn fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, mint, chives, tarragon)

6 cups of mixed baby greens (such as spinach, radicchio, arugula, endive, beet greens, kale)

3 large farm-fresh eggs

Dressing Ingredients (yields 1 cup):

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbl. Dijon mustard

3 Tbl. Red wine vinegar

2 Tbl. pure maple syrup

½ c. + 2 Tbl. olive oil (or a blend with walnut or sunflower oil)

Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or canning jar and blend until well incorporated.  Taste for seasoning and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Gently drop the eggs, return to a gentle boil, and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and shock the eggs in ice water, then peel and coarsely chop.  To assemble the salad: together the herbs & greens with enough dressing to lightly coat, and gently toss in the hard-boiled eggs.

Fresh Herb Mojo (grilling sauce)

Yield: Approx. 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 c. lightly packed fresh parsley leaves

1 c. lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

2 Tbl. fresh oregano leaves (or 2 tsp. dried oregano)

2 lg. cloves garlic

½-1small hot chili pepper, seeds removed (or ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flake)

1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

¼ c. red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Kosher salt, cracked black pepper to taste

In a food processor combine the parsley, cilantro, oregano, garlic and chili pepper, pulsing until finely chopped.  With the machine running add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and blend until a sauce consistency.  Taste for seasoning (sauce should be zesty and flavorful!) and serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Uses: Great as a marinade, dip, or condiment for grilled meats (beef, pork, chicken), fish & shrimp, or vegetables.

Pan-Roasted Salmon:

Preheat the oven to 400 and preheat a large heavy skillet on the stove on medium-high heat until very hot.  Drizzle salmon fillet with a small amount of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon in the pan flesh side down (skin facing up), and sear for 2-3 minutes without disturbing until deep brown and a nice crust develops.  Use a spatula to carefully turn the fillet then transfer the pan from stove top to oven.  Roast the salmon just until bright pink in center – approx. 10-12 minutes depending on thickness.  Remove from the oven and serve with the Mojo Sauce.

 


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