Garden, Plant, Cook!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Recipe Ideas from Others

Dear Folks,

I love checking out recipes from cookbooks and magazines. Usually I find myself thinking 'this is great, now I would do it this way...' or I'm disappointed that the chef/cook missed the opportunity to make something really great. I find recipes which start out with "Herbed...." disappointing when their idea of "herbed" is to add a bit of garlic or parsley. There are sooo many great herbs which work well together that to use only one seems too limiting particularly when the recipe comes from a known chef.

Well the following do not disappoint. In the current (August, 2009) issues of Body & Soul and Food & Wine they offer some of the neatest ideas.

Food & Wine offers up Basil Limeade Slushies and several other great sounding recipes like Iced Basil and Lemongrass Tea and Herb and Endive Salad. The slushie is a variation on a Mojito with lime and mint.

I've made a Cilantro infused Limeade for some of my demos at Boyce Thompson but the idea of a slushie version is great. Herb and Fruit flavors to try in variations of this would be:

Apple -- basil, cinnamon basil, mint
Berries, All -- basil
Blackberries -- thyme
Blueberries -- rosemary
Cherries — thyme .
Cranberries -- cilantro
Lemon -- lavender
Lime -- cilantro
Mango -- cilantro
Orange -- rosemary
Papaya -- cilantro
Peach -- basil (all flavors), chamomile
Pears -- lavender, rosemary
Pineapple -- mint, cilantro, rosemary
Raspberry -- basil
Tangerine -- rosemary

Do not limit yourself to the combinations above. If something different sounds appealing, try it.

When watermelon is in season, I make ice cubes from the juice. I found the infused ice cube recipes in Body & Soul magazine, August, 2009, super ideas as well.

Cucumber Basil Puree
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cucumber (peeled and seeded), 1/4 cup chopped basil, and a touch of coarse salt in a blender and freeze in an ice cube tray.

Orange Lime Mix
Mix 1 1/2 cups of orange juice, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of lime zest in a bowl, then freeze in an ice cube tray.

Lemonade Raspberry
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 cup of warm water; stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice. Divide 6 ounces of fresh raspberries into an ice cube tray and place a sprig of mint in each cube. Add the lemonade and freeze.

Both issues of these magazines seemed to be particularly full of ideas right up my cooking alley. Hope they are as interesting to you.

If you have the freezer space, make sure you save some of these ice cubes for use later in the winter - a sample of summer time can lift the winter blues.

ON THE gardening side of things, I am readying a new service newsletter for desert gardeners to help with the often repeated refrain I get "I don't know when to plant... in the desert" - variations of which are "I grew this back in .... but I kill it here."

If you have an interest leave your screen name at the link below. It is for information only and there is no obligation.

Edible Gardening Success in the Desert

Have a great day,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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