Tag Archives: herbs

Low and Slow in the Kitchen

With the sweltering heat that DC’s been melting under, there isn’t much incentive to turning on the oven, but I promise, this recipe will make it worth it!  And you can cook a whole large fillet at a time and have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.  Add a farro, wheat berry or similar salad as a side, top with tzatziki sauce got a light and protein-filled dinner without too much effort!

Slow Roasted Salmon with Tomatoes and Herbs

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 bunch dill fronds
  • 1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
  • 1 3-pound piece center-cut skin-on salmon or steelhead trout fillet, pin bones removed
  • Sea salt
  • 8 ounces small cherry tomatoes on the vine

Preheat oven to 325°. Pour 4 Tbsp. oil in a roasting pan just large enough to fit the salmon. Make a bed of herbs in bottom of pan; top with salmon, skin side down. Drizzle salmon with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and season with salt. Top with tomatoes, if using. Bake until salmon is just cooked through in the center (a small knife will slide easily through flesh), 25–30 minutes.  Use a large spoon or fork to serve salmon, leaving skin in pan. Serve with yogurt sauce and couscous.

The original recipe, with sauce and salad can be found on Bon Appetit here.


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Homemade Boursin

This is one of my go to appetizers.  It’s easy to whip up (everything goes in the food processor) and keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.

Homemade Boursin
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, herbs and zest until all finely minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Keep in refrigerator and bring to room temperature for serving.


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Tip of the Day: Drying Herbs

While they are abundant in your garden, don’t forget to pick and dry some for those winter months when the garden isn’t quite so green. Drying herbs is quite simple.

Start with just picked herbs. Rinse, then dry thoroughly (I like to put them through the salad spinner).

Using kitchen twine, tie the stems together then hang in a cool, dry place. Once dry, store the herbs in an air-tight container for up to six months.

Photo from Straight From the Farm


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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – Baltimore Sun Nature’s Refresher Delivers an Icy Burst of Flavor “”Mint is the easiest thing in the world to grow,” says Miriam Avins, a Baltimore home gardener who acknowledges she’s not exactly a plant whisperer. “It just survives. You kill it in the summer with lack of water and in the fall it comes right back.””

4. – Chicago Tribune Hot day, Haute Dog!“Classic Chicago-style hot dogs are legendary, with their all-beef snappiness, poppy seed buns, neon-green relish and racy little sport peppers. It’s the summertime nosh of choice for many, residents and visitors alike. But there are times a classic needs updating…”

3. – Denver Post Showdown- Or How I learned to Grill the Perfect Steak “If you’re lucky, you’ve had that one perfect steak. It was probably cooked by someone else. It might have been at a backyard barbecue or a swanky steakhouse. But you remember the way it tasted the same way you remember your favorite scene in your favorite movie — vivid and a little wistful.”

2. – The Philadelphia Inquirer The Mayonnaise Season is Upon Us “My life is ruled by this question: What can I put mayonnaise on today? Of course mayo isn’t in the forefront of my thoughts every single minute, but it is my subconscious reason for approaching the refrigerator when most people open its door for, say, deli turkey, eggs, bacon, cheese for a quesadilla, salami, arugula, leftover meat loaf, or a pickle – all of which, in my world, go splendidly with a cold emulsification of egg yolks, oil and a little acid such as lemon juice – a.k.a. mayonnaise”

1. – NY Times Oyster Farmers Find a Boutique in the Bay “New York oyster eaters who want to look in their own backyard now have more choices than ever. In the waters around Long Island and stretching into the coves of a couple of neighboring states, dozens of boutique growers are finally getting a handle on the deceptively simple art of oyster farming.”

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Tip of the Day: Storing Herbs

text_04.jpgAfter using just a couple of stems of herbs the question is always what to do with the rest of the bunch to prevent it from going bad. The solution is actually quite simple… Place the bunch of herbs in a drinking glass and fill with a couple of inches of water, like you would with a bouquet of flowers. Cover with an open ziplock bag and refrigerate. When the water starts to get cloudy, replace!

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Tip of the Day: Warming Plates

Serving your guests outside on the patio in the crisp fall weather? Warm their plates before dishing out dinner to help keep food hot longer. Place plates in the dishwasher and turn on to heated drying. Remove when you are ready to serve dinner and enjoy a hot dinner outside!

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Tip of the Day: Shelf-life of Herbs and Spices

Bottled herbs and spices lose their potency over time. When buying them, label bottles with the purchase date to keep track of their freshness. Herbs lose their potency after about 6 months, while spices tend to stay fresh a bit longer. Whole spices, such as cloves and peppercorns can last up to 2 years while ground spices last about 1 year. To test for strength, crumble a bit in your hand and smell – if the scent is faint, use more than called for in the recipe to use up rest of bottle more quickly, then start fresh – and don’t forget to label the bottle!
Image from Camille Soulayrol

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Fresh Herbs All Year Round

One of the hardest things I’ve had to get used to with living in the city is not having my garden full of fresh herbs and produce right outside my door. I have to get in my car and drive to my community garden. This obviously doesn’t work so well when I need fresh thyme at the last minute for dinner, which is where my balcony herbs come in handy!
This pot of herbs is so easy to make and with just a little TLC, you can be picking fresh herbs all year round.

Simply choose a nice ceramic pot and fill it with your favorite herbs. My planter has rosemary, thyme, oregeno, bay leaves, thai basil and marjoram. I water it almost daily, as it dries out quickly and move it inside on cool nights.

Happy City Gardening!

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