Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cooking With Your Own Herbs From the Garden

(from top L) Rosemary oregano, sweet marjoram,sage at the bottom.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are not just for Simon and Garfunkel songs.

Fresh herbs invigorate meals. Here are two Italian inspired meals that get spruced up with herbs from a small container garden. I'm going to emphasize the use of herbs, rather than the recipes.


This is a dough-it-yourself (sorry about the pun) recipe. Kneading dough, I think is very therapeutic. I really smack it around. There are many great recipes for pizza dough. This one is Neapolitan Pizza Dough but without mozzarella cheese. It is unique because it uses olive oil and basil leaves.

The Elegant Sweet Basil.
 I cooked the sauce while the pizza dough rose; tomato sauce with a netted bag of fresh herbs, and a fresh clove of garlic from the garden, and half an onion (both cut to small pieces). For the netted bag, I re-assign a netted bag that held, say, onions. Wash the bag, placed the whole herbs in it, tied the top. Plunk it in the cooking sauce. The tomato sauce cooks the herbs but stems and large parts of the herbs stay in the bag. Today I put oregano, sweet marjoram, sage, and rosemary in the bag; not too much or too many; use your own judgement.

Wish you could smell these pictures!

Ready to bake!

When the pizza dough is shaped to the pizza pan, and the sauce is spread on top, I artistically (if I say so myself) place the sliced mushroom, fresh basil leaves, and sprinkle shredded 5 Italian cheese on top. Sometimes I use
sliced Provolone cheese from the deli.

When it comes out, how fragrant and lovely. Some of us sprinkle Parmesan on top. Serves six.


Couldn't resist adding a bell pepper, too.
 Again, I'm going to emphasize the use of fresh herbs from your garden, rather than the recipe. You could be using spice packets from Lawry's or McCormick's and then add fresh herbs, and it really makes a difference. Today I'm making meat sauce with ground turkey. The fresh herbs are oregano, sweet marjoram, and sage. This time I've put them directly into the sauce after making sure the leaves are torn into tiny pieces, and there are no stems. I take a fresh garlic clove and crush it in the garlic crusher. In it goes, and my fingers smell like I'm going to say, "Mama mia!" Noodles ready, sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano cheese. A nice meal. Serves six.

Garden Tips

These redwood containers of herbs are now available in our area at Lowe's, but herb pots are frequently available  in grocery stores for the holiday cooking season. In a covered or indoor climate for the winter, these will continue to grow. I bought two of these for under $15 each  for both  my daughter and  my niece now that they are now establishing homes.

No comments:

Post a Comment