Sunday, August 26, 2012

Herb Bouquets

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

We are heading to a friend's house today so for a gift, I'm taking a summer herb bouquet. The garden is in full bloom now so I picked:
Italian parsley
Curly parsley
Variegated Sage

This gorgeous bouquet is arranged in a small canning jar and not only looks great but can be used for days after we leave!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Roasted Beet Salad

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

Fresh beets are so good. This time of year, the farmers markets have fresh beets and they are so sweet.  Last week, I roasted some beets to use in Beet Risotto and I had some leftover beets.  They became an amazing beet salad!

Roasting beets is an easy task: wrap cleaned beets in foil, add a couple of whole garlic cloves, some sprigs of thyme, and olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour, less if the beets are very fresh.

When they are cooled, peel the beets under running water--this keeps the red color off  hands.  For this salad, I used:

4 medium beets, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1 T parsley--I used Italian from the garden

To the beets and onion, I added:
2 T olive oil mixed with
1T fresh lemon juice

The salad was chilled for 60 minutes before serving and then topped with crumbled blue cheese. It didn't last long!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Basil Pesto

 By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

The basil in the garden is flourishing now and needs to be harvested. Pesto seemed like a good idea for tonight's dinner.

And this is so easy!  In a food processor, add:
4 c packed basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 c pine nuts or walnuts

Pulse these ingredients until they are just coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 c grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and while running the food processor, dribble in 3 T olive oil.  The mixture will come together.

How to use the pesto? Many ways:
*Freeze in ice cube trays and then remove when frozen and put into a freezer bag to add to stews or pasta.
*Toss with 1 pound of pasta like I did.
*Slice fresh tomatoes and top with 1T of pesto.

I knew we would have leftover pasta and pesto so tomorrow, I'll add some fresh cherry tomatoes and chunks of buffalo mozzarella for a tasty pasta salad.