Fresh Herbs All Year Round


I am no Master Gardner but herbs are so easy to grow and preserving them to be used all year-long is so rewarding.

I prefer to dry my herbs in a dehydrator and store is specially made jars with shaker tops.

jdbasil

Here is one of my favorite ways to us fresh basil. This fresh salad it so versatile and can be changed up by adding different vegetables with the same great results every time.

Basil Tomato Salad

basiltomatosalad

6 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 25 min.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Add rice, tomatoes, cucumber and onion; toss. Serve chilled. Yield:
  • 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 166 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 202 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

Depending on how much basil you have to preserve, this freezer pesto recipe makes a small batch or can be multiplied to make lots of vibrant, flavorful pesto to be used all winter or to share.

Pesto Sauce

pesto

4 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 15 min.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or sunflower kernels
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Place the first five ingredients in a small food processor; pulse
  • until chopped. Continue processing while gradually adding oil in a
  • steady stream. Add cheese; pulse just until blended. Cover and
  • freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 1/2 cup.
Editor’s Note: When freezing the pesto, leave about 3/4 inch in the top of the container, then cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil, so the pesto doesn’t brown during freezing.
Nutritional Facts: 2 tablespoons equals 217 calories, 22 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

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