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Herbs & Spices

Spirit & Food

The temperature has dropped down to the 40's in the evening, and that is the warning to get out to the garden and harvest the tomatoes and parsley and basil leaves before it is too late. The parsnips say wait until springtime. The carrots and potatoes say we'll be okay for awhile.. So let's get busy with all of those tomatoes and parsley and basil.

This month we feature some recipes that utilize the ingredients that are now at hand..

Tomato Salsa

4 cups chopped tomatoes (we use Roma plum tomatoes and include the skins and seeds)
2 scallions, finely chopped, both white and green parts
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
handful parsley, minced fine
handful cilantro, minced fine
1 tsp. Lightly toasted cumin seeds
-1 tsp. Salt
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. lime juice
crushed red pepper to taste
(hot or regular green pepper, optional)

Salsa is very versatile. It is great as a dip with chips. It can be used as a condiment for sandwiches. It can be added as a flavor enhancement to soups or stews, or served over tacos or enchiladas or beans. It can be added to casseroles or meat or poultry pies for added zip. Store in the refrigerator.

Basil Pesto

1 cups tightly packed basil leaves and small stems
cup parmesan cheese
or more cups pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
tsp. minced garlic
cups olive oil
1 tsp. salt
tsp. pepper

Pesto is another versatile recipe. Tossed with pasta, or spread over a sheet of pizza dough or over rolls before baking, or sitting atop some sliced tomatoes, it is a taste sensation. To make a spreadable tasty dip to serve with crackers, add 1 cups ricotta cheese to the above recipe. Pesto can also be frozen in zipper lock bags or frozen in ice cube trays for future use. Enjoy!

What do you do with the remainder of the herbs? Finely chop up the parsley and basil and cilantro and freeze for later use. Simply store it in the freezer in small zip lock bags or ice cube trays and enjoy the summer sensations throughout the year.

Ava