Audacious & Herbaceous Herb Recipes
Just about every type of summertime dish – side salad, entrée, dessert and beverage – benefits from the flavor boost that comes from fresh herbs. But instead of always using basil to make pesto sauce, adding rosemary to grilled chicken or garnishing fruit salad with mint, try something unique this summer.
Parsley & Mint
Filled with bone-building vitamin K (and some antioxidant vitamins A and C, too), parsley comes in several varieties. However, Italian parsley and flat leaf parsley refer to the same thing. It has a stronger yet less bitter flavor than traditional curly parsley.
Indiana ranks fourth in the nation for peppermint production. In fact, 9 percent of U.S.-grown peppermint comes from Indiana. When shopping for fresh mint, look for bright green leaves and minimal dried, yellow or brown leaves.
Related recipe: Combine these herbs for a unique pesto sauce that’s cool and refreshing, hot and spicy, earthy and complex – all in one bite. The only fat this recipe contains is olive oil, which means considerably less fat than traditional basil pesto containing nuts and cheese. Parsley Mint Pesto can accompany chicken, fish, pork, beef or pasta, or be used as a spread or topping for sandwiches, wraps and bruschetta.
Basil & Chives
Pungent, aromatic basil leaves are packed with natural phytonutrients and antioxidants. Different basil varieties, such as Thai or pineapple basil, result in different flavors.
Chives, a species of small onion with edible leaves, also provide an excellent source of vitamins, A, C and K and phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk of some cancers.
Related recipe: Most traditional potato salads feature lots of mayonnaise and/or sour cream that overpower the potato and other ingredients. Lemon Basil Potato Salad with Bacon lets the potatoes shine in a fresh basil, lemon and olive oil sauce. Bacon becomes the perfect salty, crunchy ingredient to complement the earthy tartness of the basil and lemon. (Yes, this dietitian does occasionally indulge in bacon!)
Get the facts on storage, prep, and nutrition information for the recipe here.
Rosemary naturally contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Plus, it’s so easy to use. Simply hold stem at the top and run fingers down the stem to remove the individual needles before chopping to release the fragrant oils.
Related recipe: Triple Citrus Rosemary Almond Shortbread Bars feature pure sugar-flour-butter decadence along with a sweet-savory-earthy infusion of lemon, lime and orange zest plus fresh rosemary. These easy-to-bake bars are quite rich, so a small, sensible portion is all you’ll need for the perfect ending to any summer meal.
Discover helpful selection, storage and prep tips for the recipe here.