AHH, the holidays - the most hectic, but also the most beautiful time of the year. With snow on the ground and a crispness in the air, what better time of the year to spend cooking. Cooking with fresh herbs that is!! Almost as important as cooking with fresh herbs is the garnishing of your plates with fresh herbs. What better time to show you care so much about your customers than to go that extra step to make their plate look special. But really — is parsley all you have? Come on - where is your imagination? How about a pretty green BAY LEAF with a single red, white, pink or blue EDIBLE FLOWER. Or how about a tiny sprig of ROSEMARY, looking like a member of the pine tree family. Or THYME - such a small delicate leaf, but so hardy. And LEMON THYME will have your customers asking what the delightful scent is. SAGE makes a wonderful garnish with its soft gray-green color and its pungent odor, what could be more lovely than a sprig of fresh sage next to the cranberries on a plate of turkey. DILL, so light and feathery — always adds that special touch to fish. MINT, think of mint as the dessert herb, not only does it look beautiful, but mint will enliven the taste buds so one can more fully enjoy the final course of the meal. PARSLEY, if you must use it, try the lovely delicate CHERVIL or the flat wide leaf of ITALIAN PARSLEY. What’s new? — MEXICAN SAGE — a bitter leaf but a striking long purple blossom. South of the Border Tarragon, very similar in taste to the French Tarragon, but a more hardy plant. Epazote, the bean herb and excellent with rice, has a flavour rather similar to celantro. Today's Nouvelle Cuisine has brought a revival of the sorbet to the health conscious America. The basic herb syrup for sorbets calls for 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly - reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes longer. Cool over night and strain. Basil, rosemary, mint, lemon thyme and many others make delicious sorbets. Remember, the more you stir and refreeze the sorbet, the smoother it will be. Try serving in a hollowed lemon, orange, or small grapefruit -will look marvelous!!
Dorothy L. Gifford
Farmer's Daughter Herbs