I love growing new things in the garden. There is a certain romance in the seed descriptions that gets me excited for all the great things I will make to eat. I dream of how the plants will be fun and lush in the summer. Once the summer gets here and the plants are lush I realize I have no idea what to do with my new bounty.
I didn’t grow up in a family of chefs. I grew up in a family of horse riders and we were too busy at the stable to make many home cooked dinners. I have been on kind of a journey of discovery in regards to fresh food as of late. I try to only buy things that are fresh and have to be cooked instead of easy to make processed foods. If you have to go through the trouble of cooking, you will only bother if you are actually hungry instead of just bored. This is also helping me to ensure I fit into my wedding dress.
As a part of my food journey, I have been trying to find ways to use the veggies and herbs in my garden as much as possible. What I realized was although I had herbs I didn’t really know what to do with them. Here is a little “recipe” I have come up with to use up herbs you may have in your garden. It has a greek yogurt base which is good for you in a lot of ways but also is also pretty low calorie. I use it as a dip for celery but mostly as a spread on sandwiches in place of mayo.
The ingredients are basic: Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, salt and garlic. No, I don’t know how much. That’s why I called it a “recipe” earlier.
1. Herbs. Whatever you have or like. Here I have basil, parsley, english thyme and silver thyme which have been given a rinse.
2. Chop. The idea is to finely mince everything. With the thyme, I pull all the leaves off of the woody stem and give them a bit a of a chop. For the herbs like basil and parsley, the easiest way I find is to stack the leaves-
and then roll them up.
Then you take a knife and slice the roll which will give you little rolled up strips. The French call this chiffonade. Next run your knife through these to make them into smaller pieces.
3. The garlic. TB & I love garlic and cook with it a lot. We usually add more than is necessary. Here we are talking raw garlic which will be way stronger than if it was cooked so I suggest you start out with a little at a time. My process was to peel the garlic and mince it up finely. Next make it into a paste so you don’t end up crunching on whole chunks.
Take your minced garlic and sprinkle a little salt, I like kosher. Then take your knife at an angle and scrape across the bits while squishing the garlic into the cutting board.
You will end up with a paste like this that mixes into the spread a little better.
4. Mix. Start with a big dollop of Greek yogurt and mix in some of your herbs and some of the garlic. Start slow. The first time I did this I had each of the herbs chopped and sitting on their own so I could add them individually. You can always add more but you can’t take them out.
A word on mixing the ingredients to taste – right now they mean seem to taste like stuff in yogurt. If you leave it in the fridge overnight, the flavors will meld together and become delicious and a bit stronger.
5. Eat. Here I have used this as a spread on a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce from my garden. Delicious and better for me then smearing it with mayo!