Dill Pesto

2 cups dill
½ cup parsley
½ cups walnuts
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cups garlic
2/3 cup olive oil

Mix first 5 ingredients together first, then slowly add the olive oil.

Dill and Lemon Thyme Butter

1 lb butter
1 cup freshly chopped dill
¼ cup lemon thyme
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine soften butter with next three ingredients in the processor and mix until well blended.  Great for fish.

Creamy Lemon Basil Pesto

½ cup lemon basil leaves
½ cup walnuts
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup parsley
½ cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbs whipping cream
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the olive oil, blend again and then add the lemon juice and the whipping cream.  Add the lemon juice and cream at the very end for a smoother pesto.  Makes 1 ½ cups pesto.

Orange Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Try different flavored types of mint for a subtle flavor change – banana or chocolate mint are excellent!

1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp peppermint extract
½ tsp orange essential oil
2 cups flour
3 tbsp fresh orange mint, finely chopped before measuring
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar.  Add salt, the extract and essential oils, mint leaves and flour.  Mix well.  Fold in mini chocolate chips.  Chill dough for one hour or until firm enough to handle.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.  Press each ball with your thumb.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool cookies on a rack.  Makes 3 dozen.

Herb Garden Punch
This punch is easy to make, and people always rave about it.  It is a delightful and refreshing drink to serve, especially when poured over ice cubes that have been frozen with sprigs of lemon balm, lemon peel, and flower petals.

2 generous bunches lemon balm sprigs
2 generous bunches mild flavored mints
2 large cans (46 oz) unsweetened pineapple juice
juice of 2-3 lemon
3 lemons, cut into round slices
additional sprigs lemon balm and/or min
Sparkling water or champagne, and fresh lemon juice to taste
2-3 limes, cut into round slices

Gently wring the bunches of lemon balm and mint to release flavor.  Place them in a large container, and cover with the juices and lemon slices.  Chill overnight, occasionally stirring and pressing down on herbs with back of a wooden spoon.  Prior to serving, remove the herbs and replace with fresh herb sprigs.  Pour punch into iced glasses with sparkling water or champagne, lemon juice, lime slices and a sprig of fresh lemon balm or mint.

Savory Basil Slice and Bakes
If you like pesto, you’ll love these savory wafers that contain the same ingredients.  Perfect for parties.

2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup butter
One 8 oz package cream cheese
¾ cup pesto (recipe follows)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts
Kosher salt

Sift together flour, peppers and salt.  Stir in cheese.  Combine butter and cream cheese; using a mixer, beat until well combined.  Add pesto and mix well.  Add flour mixture, basil leaves and nuts.  Mix well.  Divide dough in half and roll into logs 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Roll each log in kosher salt.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill until firm.  If baking later, freeze shaped dough and defrost slightly before baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice dough ¾ inch thick.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until edges are golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week, or freeze up to a month.  Makes 6 dozen.

Basil Pesto:  In a food processor, process together 1 cup Genovese (or sweet) basil, ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup parmesan cheese and 2 cloves garlic.  Slowly add in ½ cup of olive oil while the processor is running.

Lemongrass Snowballs
Very unusual and truly delicious!

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon extract or lemon baking oil
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut, fine or medium shred
2 ½ tbsp lemongrass puree or 1 tbsp lemongrass powder
2 cups (12 oz) white chocolate chips, chopped and divided
Additional coconut and lemongrass powder for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add lemon oil or extract.  Gradually beat in flour, coconut and lemongrass.  Stir in 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place ½ inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake on middle rack until cookies are set and light golden brown on bottom, 10-12 minutes.    Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; remove to cooling racks to cool completely.  Microwave remaining white chocolate chips in heavy duty plastic bag, kneading at 10-15 second intervals, until totally melted and smooth.  Cut a tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over cookies.  Sprinkle with additional coconut and lemongrass powder, if desired.    Refrigerate cookies for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is set.  Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.  Makes about 2 ½ dozen.

Garlicky Lavender Curry Hummus
Why buy supermarket hummus when you can easily make much better at home?  If you prepare the chips ahead, store them at room temperature in an airtight container.  The hummus is also good with raw vegetables and with warmed soft pita bread.

2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup tahini or creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ‘Provence’ lavender buds, finely ground in a spice grinder
1 ½ tsp Madras or regular curry powder
½ tsp sea salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Paprika
Chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a food processor, combine the beans, tahini or peanut butter, water, lemon juice, oil, lavender, curry powder, salt and garlic.  Process until smooth, adding more water as needed to reach a dip consistency.  Season with additional salt and lemon juice, if needed.  Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and dust with the paprika and parsley.  Serve with pita chips or pita bread.

Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa
Take the time to roast the garlic and chiles and use fire roasted canned tomatoes for the best flavor.

2 fresh jalapeno chilies (or 4 serranos, or 1 or 2 habaneros)
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
½ cup finely chopped white onions
One 15 oz can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire roasted)
1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped Vietnamese coriander (rau rum)
1 tsp of fresh lime juice or cider vinegar
salt

Set a small skillet over medium heat.  Lay the chilies and garlic in the skillet and dry roast until soft and blotchy black in spots, about 10 minutes for the chilies, about 15 minutes for the garlic.  While the chilies and garlic are roasting, scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water.  Shake off the excess water and pour into a medium bowl.  Pull the stems off the roasted chilies and peel the papery skins off the garlic.  Scoop them into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.  Add the tomatoes, with their juice, re cover and pulse a few more times, until the mixture is as coarse or smooth as you want your salsa to be.  Pour the tomato mixture into the bowl with the onion.  Add the cilantro and stir thoroughly.  Thin with a little water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.   Taste and season with the lime juice or vinegar, and salt, usually about ½ tsp.  If not using within an hour or two, wait until you’re ready to serve to add the onions and cilantro.

Red Coleslaw with Mint Dressing
This rosy coleslaw with the zing of mint pesto in the dressing makes a great winter salad.

3 tbsp Mint Pesto (recipe follows)
2 tbsp rice or white vinegar
2 tbsp safflower oil
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 cups grated carrots (2 or 3 carrots)
2 cups grated red cabbage
2 to 3 tbsp minced scallions, including some green
Red leaf lettuce
2 large oranges, peeled, sliced horizontally, and quartered

Whisk together the pesto, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.  Combine the carrots, cabbage, and scallions with the dressing and taste for seasoning.  Chill.  Arrange the lettuce on individual salad plates.  Top with the coleslaw and garnish with orange slices.  Serve cold.

4 to 6 servings.

Spearmint Pesto:  In a food processor, process together 1 cup spearmint, ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup parmesan cheese, ¼ – ½ cup parsley and 2 cloves garlic.  Slowly add in ½ cup of olive oil while the processor is running.

Chilled Lemony Mushrooms
Perfect for a summer side dish.

1 lb medium sized mushrooms
1 medium sized lemon
¼ tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp each sage, oregano, marjoram, and basil
2 small heads Bibb lettuce

Rinse mushrooms under running cold water; trim tough stem ends and slice mushrooms.  Cut 6 very thin slices and squeeze 2 tsp juice from lemon; set aside.  In a 3 quart saucepan over medium high heat, in hot salad oil, cook mushrooms, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are coated with oil.  Stir in water, soy sauce, salt, sugar, herbs, lemon slices and lemon juice; heat mixture to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking 3 minutes longer or until mushrooms are tender, stirring mixture often.  Spoon mushroom mixture into bowl; cover and refrigerate until well chilled.  To serve, cut each head of Bibb lettuce into 4 wedges.  Arrange lettuce wedges and mushrooms on 8 small plates.

Beurre Blanc with Herbs
This recipes uses 2 of the more delicately flavored herbs – they can also be difficult to find, so it is a good idea to grow your own!

½ cup dry white wine
2 tsp white wine vinegar
¾ tsp minced fresh tarragon or ¼ tsp dried tarragon
¾ tsp minced fresh chervil or ¼ tsp dried chervil
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 shallots, sliced
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 tbsp heavy cream

In a 1 quart saucepan over medium high heat, heat white wine, vinegar, tarragon, chervil, white pepper, and shallots to boiling.  Boil 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2 tbsp.  Discard shallots.  Reduce heat to medium; add butter, 1 tbsp at a time (do not use margarine, sauce will not thicken), beating constantly with wire whisk until butter melts and mixture thickens slightly.  Remove saucepan from heat; stir in heavy cream.  Serve sauce over broiled or grilled fish steaks, lobster, shrimp, poached fish fillets, or hot cooked vegetables.

Serendipitea Tea

1 teaspoon each of dried spearmint, peppermint, crushed rosehips, lemongrass;  ½ tsp each of orange peel and raspberry leaf; dash of cinnamon (or purchase our ready -made tea blend!).

Mix ingredients together well.  Bring cool water to a boil.  Place 1 tsp of the tea blend in a tea infuser, pour 1 cup of boiling water over and allow to steep for 3 – 5 minutes, preferably in a covered container.             For iced tea, allow to steep up to 10 minutes, then allow to cool to room temperature and add ice and a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Spicy Lemon Verbena Meatballs

1 lb ground pork butt
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, or other fresh hot chile
4 green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp finely chopped lemon verbena
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 ½ tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp coarsely chopped mint (Spearmint or Moroccan)
1 cup plain yogurt
Stiff branches of lemon verbena or rosemary for skewers

Put the pork, garlic, jalapeno, green onions, lemon verbena, cilantro, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Dig in with your hands and toss, squeeze, and knead it all together until evenly combined.  Pinch off pieces of the meat, about 1 ½ tbsp in size, and roll them into balls.  Put them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook them.  Pour the oil into a 12 inch or larger skillet set over medium heat.  When it’s hot, place the meatballs quite closely together in the pan.  You should be able to fit them all in.  Unless your pan is nonstick, they will stick, but just let them stay where they are until the bottoms are deeply browned, then loosen by scraping them from the pan with a thin spatula.  Flip and keep cooking and turning them until most of the surfaces are browned, about 10 minutes total.  Cut into one to make sure it is cooked through.  Transfer the meatballs to a platter, and keep them warm in a very low oven if you’re not ready to serve them right away.  Stir the mint into the yogurt and pour it into a small bowl for dipping.  Arrange the meatballs on a platter and spear them with skewers made of lemon verbena or rosemary branches.

Ajo
Ajo means garlic in Spanish, and you can’t miss the flavor of it in this spread. This is a recipe Rose’s grandmother brought from Spain, and the original doesn’t include any herbs except garlic. Dress it up with some oregano and thyme and a little lime juice, or mix in spicy bush basil, or enjoy it as is. This was one of Rose’s dad’s favorite recipes, and he liked it VERY garlicky!

½ cup almonds, blanched
9 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
5-6 slices dry stale bread, without crust (French bread is best)
2 Tbsp vinegar
½ tomato, peeled
1 egg

Put blanched almonds and garlic into the food processor and grind well. In a bowl mix a little water with vinegar. Place slices of bread one at a time into liquid, squeeze out liquids well. Discard liquids. Alternate adding bread and oil to the almond mixture in the processor and mix well. Add egg and mix well. Chop tomato and sprinkle on top. Keep refrigerated.

Rosemary Walnut Biscotti
A surprising dessert twist!

3 large eggs, separated
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 ½ cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup lightly toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.   Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment.  In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar until light and the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the melted butter, walnuts, vanilla extract and rosemary.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they just begin to form peaks and gradually beat in the remaining ¾ cup sugar until the whites form stiff peaks.  Sift the flour and baking powder together.  Fold one third of the flour into the yolks; then fold one third of the egg whites in.  Repeat, alternating, until well combined.  The dough will be firm and slightly sticky.   With floured hands, divide the dough into two logs approximately 1 ½ inches wide.  Arrange the logs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are lightly brown and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes.  On a cutting board, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices ½ inch wide.  Return the slices to the baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the biscotti are very lightly browned and crisp.  Cool on racks and store airtight.  Makes about 36 biscotti.

Dill, Feta, Burnet and Garlic Cream Cheese Spread
Fast and easy, this becomes more intensely flavored when prepared a day ahead.

Two 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened or at room temperature
One 8 oz package feta cheese, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp fresh dill
2 tbsp fresh salad burnet

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, dill and burnet with an electric mixer.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Serve with firm, raw veggies like carrots or with crackers.

Chocolate – Lime Crumbcakes
Grinding the basil will give a more intense flavor to these pretty muffins.

Cake:
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp coarse salt
3 tbsp (packed) whole lime basil leaves
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk

Streusel:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease 9 muffin tins and place on a baking sheet.  Melt the chocolate chips, either in a double boiler or by melting them in a microwave on low power for about 1 minute, stir until fully melted, heating them in additional 15 second increments as needed.  Set aside to cool slightly.  In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.  In a mini or full size food processor, whiz lime basil leaves and sugar until leaves are finely ground.  Transfer to a medium bowl and add butter; beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.  On low speed, beat in half of flour mixture until barely blended, then milk, then remaining flour mixture.  Fold in melted chocolate.  Make streusel:  In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and flour; cut in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Divide half of batter among muffin tins.  Top with half of the streusel, then remaining batter, spreading it to cover streusel.  Top with remaining streusel, pressing it down slightly.  Back about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.  Cool 10 minutes or more on a wire rack; run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekins to release the cakes.  Serve warm or at room temperatures.

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