Tuesday, February 02, 2010

February in the Herb Garden~and Kitchen~

Yes ! It's February and one month closer to spring planting time, I'm getting excited already !

Not too much happening in the gardens right now except new shoots of all the greens that have been hiding under the snow.

Soooo, I managed to harvest enough to make this delicious skillet cake below.
You really must try it.

Do you find that most of the foods that are proven to be so good for us are sometimes a bit bland on their own....beans, salads, whole grains, pasta, soups and some stews.

By using a blend of herbs in all of the above foods we can transform them into meals with zest and flavor to talk about.

Bay Leaf...adds depth to beans, pork and lamb.
Chives...fresh or dried, wonderful in cream soups, egg and fish recipes.
Cilantro...dry beans, couscous and shrimp.
Dill...adds zing to sour cream, yogurt and creamy chowders.
Rosemary...potatoes, white beans, pinto beans, black beans and mushrooms.

There is no one way to use herbs, just jump in and experiment according to your likes.

Let me know if you try the recipe below.

Skillet Vegetable Cake

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium russet potatoes, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch size amount of Swiss chard, kale, or spinach , thick stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter and oil in a (10-inch) seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Spread onions evenly in the bottom of the skillet and remove skillet from heat.

Arrange a third of the potatoes in a single layer on top of the onions in the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a third of the greens and scatter a third of the cheese over the top. Repeat the process to layer the ingredients two more times, ending with the cheese.

Cover skillet tightly with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 1/4 hours. Gently remove foil then return skillet to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbling and browned on top, about 15 minutes more. Set aside to let rest briefly, then slice into wedges and serve.

Serves 8

Layered potatoes, cheese and tender greens make a lovely skillet cake. This can be the perfect side to accompany a roast chicken or to serve with a cup of soup for a warming lunch.

Have you ordered your spring seeds for the garden ? Please make them organic and Heirloom.

For your dried herb, blended seasonings and teas, please visit Sage Hill Farms on the Internet.

( great special during the month of February )

Happy Cooking~

Bea Kunz

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