Tasty Thriftiness - Double Header!

I have no idea what happened this past week, but I totally forgot to post Troys "Herb of the Week" article from last week. And he already has a new one up for this week. What's really sad, is that we sit and discuss our posts and research for posts almost every night. It's not like we hadn't talked about it. I just flaked out this past week. So, without further ado, let's get to the 2 final herbs from our garden.

Last week's Herb of the Week was Cilantro.

For some reason, we are having a hard time growing this herb. Each time we have planted it, we get a rather pathetic looking plant. And we love to use this herb in all our Mexican dishes. Not to mention, fresh tomato salsa screams for cilantro and that is something we make a lot of during the summer.

Maybe we should try this next year!

Here is an interesting soup recipe using cilantro:

Cilantro and Almond Soup

6 c low-sodium broth
4 c fresh cilantro
2 c fresh Italian parsley 8 oz fat free cream cheese
1/2 c slivered, toasted almonds
1 fresh marjoram sprig

When measuring the herbs, be sure to firmly pack them into measuring cup.
Heat 4 c broth in a large sauce pan.
Combine 2 c broth, 2 c cilantro, parsley, cream cheese and almonds in blender, and blend until smooth.
Whisk herb-cheese mixture and marjoram in with heated broth. Simmer 25 minutes.
Transfer 1 c soup and remaining 2 c cilantro to blender, puree until smooth.
Add puree to soup, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and bring soup to simmer.

You may add more broth for a lighter consistency.
Serve cold for hot summer days!

And this recipe:

Lime, Cilantro & Black Pepper Grilled Pears

Four firm but ripe pears - any variety, medium sized.
¼ cup honey
¼ cup lime juice (lemon juice works just as well)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
16 grinds Whole Black Peppercorns

Like apples, pears oxidize and turn brown quickly, so prepare all ingredients and tools before cutting pears.

Warm the lime juice and honey in a glass bowl in the microwave. Remove and stir in chopped cilantro. Keep aside.

Wash pears and cut in half. Use a melon baller or small spoon to remove the cores. It looks nice if the stems stay intact, but only if the core threads leading to the stems are not too tough.

Lay pear halves cut side up in serving dish and brush entire cut side with the warm mixture, pouring reserve liquid into the pear cavities. Dust each half with two or more grinds of Whole Black Peppercorns and let the pears rest on their way to the barbecue.

Tip juices out of the pear halves into a cup before laying them flesh side down on a very hot, oiled grill. Close lid briefly to smoke. Open lid and gently flip pears over, returning juices to their cavities. Grill another minute or two with lid closed.

The tart and sweet tension of the honey and lime juice, combined with the heat of the pepper creates an unforgettable sensory experience. Your guests will be coming back for more.

This delicious quick & easy recipe can be served as a barbecue menu side dish, with meat and World's Best Corn on the Cob . For a jaw-dropping dessert, serve grilled pear halves over plain vanilla ice cream or vanilla bean star anise ice cream garnished with fresh mint leaves

This weeks Herb of the Week is Lemon Balm. I can tell you that this is one intense smelling herb! We brought it home in the back of our truck which has a cover over it. When we opened up the tailgate, Holy Schmoley! It was a lemon smelling Heaven in there!

We added this herb late in the summer when we found it at a nursery clearanced while we were camping. The plant didn't really take off at all. It just kinda died. However, Troy thinks the roots are still alive because we got some offshoots. So, hopefully it will do better next year.

Here is a recipe using Lemon Balm:

Lemon Air Freshener

1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon balm or lemon verbena (chopped)
2 tablespoons lemon peel (Grated)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add lemon balm, lemon peel, lemon juice, and baking soda and stir until baking soda dissolves thoroughly.
2The mixture will foam up after you add the baking soda so be sure your saucepan is large enough. Let cool and fill a spray bottle.

I want to try this tea made with 3 herbs. i think it would be really good as an iced tea!

Lemon Balm on Ice

This is a soothing a refreshing cool drink for any occasion. Makes 10 cups.

10 sprigs fresh lemon balm, including stems, leaves and flowers
8 sprigs fresh orange mint
5 sprigs fresh apple mint

Gently fold the herbs into a large bowl to lightly "bruise" them. Pour 5 cups boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain into a serving pitcher and add 5 cups cold water and ice. Add sugar to taste. Garnish with fresh lemon balm leaves if desired

And this recipe is a Holiday dish that uses both of today's featured herbs!

Lemon Balm Asparagus

Serves 4


2 tbsp. butter, melted

2 tbsp. lemon balm, finely chopped

2 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

32 steamed asparagus tips

In a pan add butter, lemon balm, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Allow to sizzle gently until herbs are softened, but not fried.

Put asparagus on a serving dish. Drizzle over the lemon balm and cilantro butter. Serve hot as a side dish to lamb or goose.

Now head on over to I Refuse to Recede and say Hi to Troy while learning more about these herbs!

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1 comment :

  1. I got a small pot of Lemon Balm late one season, and thought it died, too, but pleasant surprise - it came up again in the spring. So take heart - yours might as well. I add it to regular iced tea to add a little something extra. I like your recipes, and think I will try them!


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