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Basil Salad with Basil Dressing
(from ‘Fresh Herbs’ by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers)

6 peeled tomatoes, seeded
3 c. fresh basil, finely shredded
¾ c. olive oil
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
1 large clove of garlic
fresh ground pepper
½ lb. ham, (optional) – sliced finely
½ lb. Fontina (or your favourite) cheese – julienned (thin, match-like strips)
12 Greek olives, slivered
2 c. spinach leaves

To make the dressing, place half the tomatoes and half the basil in a blender with the oil, juice, garlic, and pepper, and blend until smooth. Chop remaining tomatoes and mix in a salad bowl with remaining ingredients. Toss with dressing. Serves 4.

Basic Pesto Sauce
(enough for 1 pound cooked drained pasta)

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 c. fresh basil leaves (you may also want to put in part-parsley, rather than all basil)
pinch of salt
½ c. pine nut kernels
¾ c. parmesan cheese
½ c. olive oil

Blend the basil leaves in a blender. Add the garlic and oil and briefly blend. Gradually add pine nuts, cheese and salt. Consistency should be thick and creamy.
Mix 2 tbsp. pesto with all of the pasta, and put an extra spoonful on individual servings.

Herbed Bread Sticks

12 oz. French bread
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. finely chopped oregano
1 tsp. finely chopped basil
1/8 tsp. salt
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

Put the oil in a large saucer; put garlic in oil and stir. Leave to infuse at least 15 min. Cut bread in half – both lengthwise and crosswise. Mix the herbs in a new saucer. Brush garlic-infused oil over the bread. Dip the cut sides of bread in the herb mixture. Bake at 300º F for 20-25 minutes.

Herb Flavoured Butters

Soften about 1 lb. of butter. Finely chop about ½ cup of best bits of herbs (remove woody stems or stalks). Mix together. Form into a roll. Freeze. Slice and use when desired.

Some good herbs for butter –

Dill – use with fish or chicken
Parsley – use with veggies especially potatoes and pasta
Basil – use with pasta, veggies, as a bread spread
Sage – use with all types of poultry
Thyme – use with soups especially chowders
Chives – use with potatoes and winter veggies

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