At our meeting this week, chef Lesley Stav gave a wonderful talk on culinary uses for herbs. Here are the recipes she described.
How to Make Herb Infused Simple Syrups (Medium)
One cup herb infused simple syrup
1 cup water plus 1 cup sugar
HERBAL FLAVOR OPTIONS
Choose 1 herb per batch of Simple Syrup:
5 fresh basil sprigs (5-7 inches long), about 1.5 oz.
4 fresh rosemary sprigs (5-7 inches long), about .5 oz.
1 large handful fresh mint sprigs, about 1.5 oz.
6 fresh thyme sprigs (3-4 inches long), about .5 oz.
8 bay leaves
Small saucepan, fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, funnel, 8-ounce glass bottle or jar with tight fitting lid Carefully rinse your herbs clean. You will use one type of herb for each batch of simple syrup.
Bring water to a boil. Add the sugar and whisk into the boiling water. Continue whisking till sugar is dissolved. Add herb of choice to the syrup. Let it boil for 60 seconds.
Remove from heat and let the herbs steep for about 30 minutes as the syrup cools. Use a slotted spoon to remove the herbs from the syrup.
Pour the cooled syrup through a fine mesh strainer or multiple layers of cheesecloth into a glass bottle or jar. Close the bottle and put a tag on it so you don't forget which flavor syrup you've made Store herb infused simple syrup in the refrigerator. Add to your favorite drinks for a sophisticated, herbal essence and added sweetness.
Lavender Simple Syrup (Heavy)
1 cup water
3 Tbsp. fresh or dried lavender flowers
2 cups sugar
Bring water and lavender to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, strain out the lavender.
Pour into bottle and keep in the refrigerator. It will store well for about 1 week.
Cocktails Using Simple Syrup
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Rosemary Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 sprigs Rosemary
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, lime juice, bitters and rosemary syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the rosemary sprig
1 ½ oz. Alizé Red Passion
1 oz. Gin
¾ oz. Lime Juice
¾ oz. Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 Rosemary sprig
Combine Alizé Red Passion, gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with rosemary sprig.
Simple Syrup Recipe: Combine 1 part sugar and 1 part water. Bring the water to a boil, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. Lavender Syrup
1 fresh lavender sprig
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice and Lavender Syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the lavender sprig
1 oz. Pisco
1/2 oz. Lavender Syrup
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
1 oz. cava
Shake with ice and strain into a small coupe glass. Top with cava (other dry sparkling wines would work). Twist a lemon peel over the top.
Basil Butter (can substitute chives, tarragon, lemon balm)
4 Tbsp. basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
½ cup butter, softened
Black pepper, freshly ground
Put all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, chill in a small crock or roll in plastic wrap & slice.
Persillade in its simplest form is a mix of chopped parsley, garlic, and vinegar and in fact persil means parsley in French. The recipes and variations are endless, but the idea and flavor is the same. Persillade adds a note or brightness and freshness to each dish. Similar to gremolata, chimichurri, pistou, and other herb mixes, persillade is an instant flavor enhancer.
ZEST AND JUICE OF 1 LEMON
⅓ CUP FINELY CHOPPED PARSLEY
1 LARGE CLOVE GARLIC, GRATED ON A MICROPLANE
2 TABLESPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
PINCH OF KOSHER SALT
PINCH OF FRESHLY CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
MIX ZEST, JUICE, PARSLEY, GARLIC, OLIVE OIL, SALT, AND PEPPER TOGETHER IN A BOWL. PERSILLADE IS DELICIOUS OVER ROASTED VEGETABLES, ROASTED FISH, DOLLOPED ON CHICKEN, PASTA, POTATOES. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
Roast Vegetables with Herbs
Roast Vegetables with Herbs
Place the vegetables in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Seeds, whole or ground, and sprigs of tough leafed herbs can be added at this stage. Roasting time depends on the choice and size of the vegetables. Soft leafed herbs should be added at the end of cooking.
Garlic Scape Aioli
Although the entire scape is edible, the pod and tip above it can be fibrous and are best discarded. Use garlic scapes as you would scallions or shallots, or in any dish that could use a garlicky note. Blend raw scapes into hummus, bean dips, salad dressing, or even softened butter to spread over grilled vegetables or baked potatoes. Purée them with pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper for pesto. You can also add them to scrambled eggs or use them as a garnish.
Scapes are more delicately flavored and sweeter when cooked. Slice them into 1/2-inch pieces and sauté them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a spritz of lemon juice for an easy side dish, or grill whole scapes as you would scallions. Like green beans, they’re great steamed, added to stir-fries, or blanched and tossed into salads.
With their mellow garlicky flavor, scapes pair well with summer produce like zucchini, chard, and spinach; herbs like cilantro and lemongrass; rich ingredients like bacon, cream, eggs, mayonnaise, butter, and cheese; and bold flavors like lemon juice, soy sauce, and mustard.
how to store:
You can refrigerate scapes in a paper bag for about a month. For longer storage, blanch and freeze them for up to a few months, though they’ll lose flavor over time.
10 garlic scapes, chopped
½ cup parsley, rough chopped
1 lemon, zest & juice
2 cups mayonnaise
Dash of hot sauce
Add scapes & parsley to bowl of food processor, pulse into a paste. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice pulse until smooth. Adjust seasoning.