Creative in the Kitchen

A day in the herb garden and kitchen

herb class table setting

The last of the dishes are washed, my guests are gone and I am still reveling in the scent of green.  Today I held a Cooking with Herbs class celebrating the multi-cultural traditions of eating the first herbs of spring and it was  s o   m u c h   f u n!

When living from nature, herbs are the first green food of spring.  For centuries all cultures have used them in various ways to tone and flush the body after a long winter of eating stored foods that were nutritionally depleted.  While each herb has its own culinary and nutritional value, the compound that makes plants green−chlorophyll−is exceptionally beneficial to the body.  It cleanses the blood and reduces cholesterol & triglycerides.  It balances the gut by killing bad bacterial and microbes and is full of tissue regenerating vitamins A, C, E and K along with iron, potassium, calcium and fatty acids.  Eating green helps the spleen!

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We walked the property picking and cutting various herbs. 

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Because eating bitter helps the body purge itself we made a salad of dandelion greens, lemon balm leaves and horseradish leaves.  We dressed it with a vinaigrette we made with tarragon and chives.  Vinegar helps extract the essence of the herbs.

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We made a classic french spring soup of sorrel, broth and cream.

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I think our favorite flavor profile was from the Montpellier butter we compounded with chives, garlic scapes, marjoram and loveage.  We spooned it over baked eggs.  Download recipe here…

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We loved our herb fritters made with clusters of chives, dandelion blossoms and sage leaves.

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We enjoyed some May Wine, a traditional German beverage made from Reisling wine infused with Sweet Woodruff.

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We ended our meal with a scoop of rhubarb mint sorbet which I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of.  It was a gorgeous coral-y red, not too sweet, pleasantly astringent and fruity.  A morning of fun and the comments were that LOTS was learned about growing and harvesting herbs, new cooking and knife skills were learned, good team work, it was delicious and loads of fun.  Thumbs up on this one; I think I will do it again. 

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