Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Herb Festival Today - And A Recipe!

Dear Folks,

I am at the Boyce Thompson Herb Festival today and the weather looks like it is going to be a pretty day.

Herb Festival
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Saturday  October 24 
11:00 AM - 3:00 pm

    "Herb is the word" during the annual Fall Plant Sale fundraiser and we'll have a variety of herbs available for purchase. This recurring Fall event  is strategically scheduled for late October to take advantage of optimal herb planting time. Meet members of the Arizona Herb Association and browse items at their booth; learn about container gardening from Catherine 'The Herb Lady' Crowley, all beneath the shady grove of pistachio trees across from our Wing Memorial Herb Garden.

I will be sampling My Black Bean Humus recipe.  The focus herb is Epazote, known commonly as "Natural Beano" - AND it works!

Use Epazote to flavor bean and meaty foods.  If you want the "benefit" in hot foods, keep half of the herb to add just before serving.

Epazote is also traditionally used as a component of Salsa Verde, a mix of herbs used either to stuff fish or as a sauce during cooking or at serving.

At last year's Herb Festival I purchased some Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seeds from the Az Herb Folks (see link above), seeded in April, the plants took off and gave me a ton of "roselles" the beautiful, cranberry-flavored flower calyx to make beverages and add to salads and other foods.

Recipes:  When I am developing recipes I think in terms of similarities of foods.  Ever since I first tasted humus years ago I was hooked.  That was a big deal for me personally because I did not grow up liking beans or bean dishes even the ubiquitous baked beans everyone brought or served at gatherings was not something I gravitated toward.

But the humus, yum.  I began to think of what exactly humus was and came up with a simple comparison to the typical American diet - a peanut butter sandwich!  From there it was a matter of my mental taste buds roaming through combinations of a legumes and something to serve it with.

The Black Bean Humus was one of my first humus versions because of the high antioxidant qualities of the black beans.  I have made other versions - artichoke and edamame, and a garbanzo (traditional bean) and avocado are a couple of examples.

If the green olives seem strange (or you can use kalamata or other type of olive - just don't use those canned black olives), they add an additional layer of flavor and some of the salt for enhancing all the flavors.  I also frequently use olives in my pesto's for the same reason AND it extends the amount of pesto you have if you are short on enough basil to make the quantity you desire.

My Black Bean Humus
from "101+ Recipes From The Herb Lady" (available at sources listed below)  The Boyce Thompson Arboretum store also stocks my books.

1 can black beans, drained, reserve liquid
Zest of one line
1/2 to all the juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp coriander or 3 tbl. fresh cilantro
4 peppercorns, ground
1/4 cup fresh epezote or 1 tbl. dried
10 green olives, pitted
2-7 tbl. reserved bean liquid

Tortilla chips or colorful root chips.  Or you can make vegetable cups from cucumber, zucchini or just use vegetable dippers.  The chips provide a complimentary protein to the beans.

Grind everything, except 3 black beans, the reserved liquid and a bit of epazote and chips
Using 2-7 tbl. reserved bean liquid to give desired consistency.
Pour the bean mix into a bowl, garnish with 3 beans in center and a sprig or sprinkle of the epazote 

I hope you make it out or made it out to the Herb  Festival today!

My books are available through these sources.

My books

Lulu (my publisher site)


amazon - print

Barnes & Noble - print and Nook ebook


Have a wonderful day!


-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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