Exciting Recipes for Cooking with Herbs
by Linda Tubby
I have so many cookbooks, and I rarely use them. Attempting to change that. This book delighted me with its absolutely beautiful photos of live plants and fantastic-looking plated dishes. They are a bit sophisticated for my regular kitchen pantry, but the author helpfully mentions what substitutions can be made, if you can\’t find a particular ingredient. Which is nice because she uses a lot of uncommon items like shiso leaves and fenugreek (at least, they\’re unfamiliar to me). The intro portion of the book has some basics on selecting fresh herbs or growing them yourself, and methods of preserving them. The list of plants tells a bit of interesting facts about each one- where it originated or something of its historically medicinal and culinary use. It has me curious to try a few new things in my garden: lovage, winter savory, tansy. The recipes are sorted into groupings: appetizers, soups and salads, light brunch/lunch dishes, full entrees, vegetable courses, pastas and breads, desserts. Final pages include how to infuse olive oil and vinegars with herbs, make candied flowers, tisanes, syrups and flavored drinks. I am encouraged to try!
The stretched pasta with herbs pressed between thin layers and then quickly cooked, has me super intrigued. It\’s pictured all over the endpapers- see below.* Unfortunately, I don\’t have a pasta machine. I did make the salmon and new potatoes dish, with dill. It was pretty good, but not spectacular. However I used dried instead of fresh dill, and fresh instead of smoked salmon. Definitely going to make more recipes from this book. Especially in the summer, when I have fresh flavors at hand out in the garden.
* photos coming soon
Rating: 4/5 144 pages, 2004