Saturday, October 24, 2009

Herb Paste

Herb Paste

Similar to pesto, but with more body, herb pastes can be made from any flavour combination- hot/pungent spices, lemon herbs, Mediterranean herbs, and on and on. Hot chiles are often combined in a paste for rubbing on meats destined for the BBQ. I have made pastes with spikes of cinnamon and cardamom for Indian inspired dishes. The point is that having a concentrated hit of flavour at hand can be a time-saver in the kitchen.
By now, most of the North American garlic crop has been harvested, dried, braided, festival-ed and tucked away in cool, dry places for fall and winter meals to come. So with all this stinking rose at our disposal, I would like to share one of my favourite recipes for preserving and using the king of herbs.
For more fall garlic recipes and to read more of my article about garlic, visit Vitality magazine.
Questions about growing/using garlic?

Mediterranean Herb Paste

Make and use this in several different dishes in a week. It can form the basis for a vinaigrette dressing, soup, dips, spreads and even be used as a flavoring for savoury muffins and scones.

10 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, snipped

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 Tbsp tarragon or white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Pulse garlic in food processor three or four times or until garlic is finely chopped, or pound in a mortar and pestle. Add sage, thyme and rosemary. Pulse three or four times (or pound until mixed in) until finely chopped. Add mustard and salt, pulse until blended.

Gradually add three tablespoons of oil, processing as blended. Add vinegar and remaining olive oil and process until well blended.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hitting the Wall

Hitting the Wall
Just wondering if anybody has hit the wall with their blogs? I would love it if you would TELL ME ABOUT IT.

I started out in the spring this with great enthusiasm, hit my stride and found that even though I am writing now for long hours, I could still muster up the words to keep in touch on a weekly basis. Although I do have to admit it: my blog did become a bit boring and predictable. OK it got tedious and REALLY academic.
Then my computer crashed. Funny how the physical world gives us a gentle nudge. I took my 'forced vacation' while the techies replaced my hard drive and I slowly got my computer's data back up. I wanted to tell you about that and just jump right back into the blog routine, but I didn't.
Then I went to Hudson Valley to speak at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, stayed a week and I wanted to tell you about that, and still, I didn't.

I am totally re-thinking the nature and purpose of this blog and while I don't want to make any promises I can't keep, hang in there with me and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
I want to make this the best HERB weds FOOD blog in the ethernet.

You be the judge. Just give me some time and any SUGGESTIONS for what you would like to know would be very helpful.

Meantime: Check back here soon and I will tell you about the herb gardens and my lunch at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). That's me above in the American restaurant enjoying one of the finest meals I have had in a long time.


All photographs and recipes are original and copyrighted to Pat Crocker. Pat invites you to use her recipes and share with family and friends. Please contact Pat Crocker for express permission for commercial, internet, or other use of her photographs and recipes.