We enjoy including African Blue Basil in our bouquets in the house but since we are talking food here … give Oh My Dish’s African Blue Basil Vinaigrette a try.
1/2 cup African Blue Basil leaves
1 shallot (chopped)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. refined sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
We conducted a trial of organic Aromatto Basil last year and used it in our bouquets. Our customers agreed with us that it is not only beautiful, but has a good vase life. Everyone enjoys the fragrance, but describes it differently. Our seed producer likens it to Cinnamon Basil and that is an apt description. We have not cooked with it, but one of our customers did and described it as sweeter than Genovese Basil.
This dainty herb with its soft, feathery leaves and umbrella of small yellow flowers is lovely in the garden bed and also wonderful to use in seafood recipes.
Chervil has tastes of cucumber and parsley with a hint of anise, and is a key ingredient in Bernaise sauce.
For your next brunch, consider preparing Jacque Malouf’s bacon and egg flan with chives. It is a real show stopper on the brunch buffet, and as Chef Malouf says “heaven on a pastry base.”
Bacon and Egg Flan with Chives
All-purpose flour for dusting
10 ozs. ready-made puff pastry
9 – 12 quails’ eggs or 3 – 4 jumbo hens’ eggs (we like using 6 – 8 small Blue Egg eggs)
1/3 cup crème fraîche
small handful of long chives
7 strips bacon
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the pastry out into a rectangle a little larger than a sheet of letter-sized paper. The reason for this is that the pastry edges will rise more evenly if cut to size rather than rolled. Transfer the pastry to a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Then, use a sharp knife to score a 1/2″ border inside the edge of the pastry. Prick the pastry inside the border with a fork – this will be the area that is covered with the toppings.
Whisk one egg lightly and use it to brush the pastry border. Smear the crème fraîche inside the pastry border, covering the whole rectangle evenly. Scatter half of the chive lengths on top and arrange the bacon strips side by side to cover the crème fraîche.
Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a flat surface. Randomly break the eggs on top of the bacon, then season with black pepper. Return the flan to the oven for three minutes or until the egg whites set. Gently transfer to a board or platter and scatter the remaining chives. Slice into large pieces and eat hot or warm.
Cilantro is an essential ingredient in many Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes. Salsa and ceviche are summer treats that we will be enjoying and hope you will too.
There is no substitute for fresh culinary sage. Dry sage just doesn’t compare. This plum-grilled pork chop recipe is one of many good reasons to have sage in your pantry.
Plum-Grilled Pork Chops by the Huntington Herb Garden
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 pork chops, 1/2″ thick
6 medium red plums, pitted and halved
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 shallots, finely diced and puréed
12 sprigs of sage or thyme for garnish
Combine of the sage, thyme, salt, sugar, and paprika in a small bowl. Place the pork chops in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle both sides with the dry herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate one to two hours.
Heat charcoal in an outdoor grill over medium heat. Lightly oil the grill rack and place it 4″ above the coals. Grill the chops four minutes on each side, until done. Place the plums on the grill and cook, turning often, until soft and slightly browned. Combine the honey, lime juice, mustard, and shallots. Brush the chops and plums with part of the honey mixture to glaze. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining honey sauce. Garnish with sage or thyme sprigs. Makes six servings.
Epazote is used in many Mexican recipes. Diana Kennedy, a widely respected authority on Mexican cooking, says that “to cook black beans without Epazote is unthinkable.” Ditto for tortilla soup.