Cooking with Fresh Herbs Session

Lavender Lemonade (Serves 6)

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1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried lavender flowers (this gives a very mild lavender flavour, if you would like it to be stronger, add more lavender, but do not steep longer)

1 cup (250 mL) fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)

1 bottle (750 mL) club soda

2 cups (500 mL) Ice cubes

Lavender sprigs for garnish (optional)

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, add the sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove pot from heat, stir in dried lavender. Let steep for five minutes, no longer or it will become bitter. Strain out lavender. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make lemonade: Scoop ice cubes into a large pitcher, pour in lemon syrup, and the bottle of club soda. Stir to combine. Serve garnished with lavender sprigs if desired.

Classic Basil Pesto

christine

4 cups (1 l) packed basil leaves

6 cloves garlic

1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced blanched almonds or pine nuts

1 1/2 cup (375 ml) olive oil

1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt (optional)

2 cup (500 ml) Parmesan cheese

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil and Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil, and the finally add the cheese. Scoop into clean jars. Refrigerate up to two weeks, or freeze.

Arugula Pesto

1 bunch arugula, approximately 3-4 cups (1 l), washed and stemmed

4-6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup (250 ml) olive oil

1/2 cup (125 ml) parmesan cheese

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil and Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil, and the finally add the cheese. Scoop into clean jars. Refrigerate up to two weeks, or freeze.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

pesto closeup

1 cup (250 mL) sun-dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) loosely packed fresh basil, washed

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil and Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil, and the finally add the cheese. Scoop into clean jars. Refrigerate up to two weeks, or freeze.

Sage and walnut pesto

bring your container

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley

3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 oz) plus additional for serving

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oil and Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil, and the finally add the cheese. Scoop into clean jars. Refrigerate up to two weeks, or freeze.

BASIC TOMATO SALAD

tomato salad

 2 large tomatoes, halved & sliced

1 Vidalia onion, sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, halved, sliced

1. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, serve.

2. Top with vinaigrette (see below)

VINAIGRETTE #1 With Chopped Fresh Mint

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. Ground cumin

Pinch of salt and pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients, add into basic salad, and toss gently.

VINAIGRETTE #2 with chopped fresh cilantro and oregano

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. Ground cumin

Pinch salt & pepper

¼ cup each chopped fresh cilantro and oregano

1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients, add into basic salad, and toss gently.

VINAIGRETTE #3 with chopped fresh tarragon, rosemary, thyme

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. Each chopped fresh chopped fresh tarragon, rosemary, thyme

1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients, add into basic salad, and toss gently.

VINAIGRETTE #4 with chopped fresh basil

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1-2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients, add into basic salad, and toss gently.

Christine and Chris

**Thank you to our volunteers who helped make this Grow Cook Learn session a success.  A special thank you goes out to Christine Scheer of the Covent Garden Market for her time, and for sharing her skills and expertise with us!**