On the Plate

Infused Oil

Infused oil is a creative way to use garden herbs to add distinctive flavor to your recipes. You can use the oils in marinades, sauces and dressings, on their own drizzled over vegetables or as a dip for warm, fresh bread.
When making infused oils, use only glass jars and bottles—oil doesn’t absorb anything from glass—that have been prepared by sterilizing in a dishwasher or boiling water. Before beginning, make sure the jars and herbs are completely dry to avoid bacterial growth in the oil. When preparing herbs, you’ll want to release the oil and flavor by bruising (gently bending and pinching leaves) or rubbing them together.
You can infuse oils at room temperature or by using heat; either method is effective and both methods produce tasty results.

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Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 1 cup

¼ cup fresh herbs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash and dry herbs completely. Bruise or rub herbs and place in prepared glass jar. Add oil to cover herbs and close jar. Place jar in dry location with indirect sunlight for 1 week, swirling or shaking every day. After 1 week, taste the oil. If too mild, let sit until desired strength. Once infused to the desired flavor, store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Use within 1 month. 

—Recipe adapted from TheKitchn.com 

Heat-Infused Oil

Yield: 1 cup

¼ cup fresh herbs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wash and dry herbs completely. In thick-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, add ½ cup oil. Bruise or rub herbs and place into pan. Heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until oil just begins to bubble. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until herbs are very fragrant. Be careful not to burn oil or herbs. Remove from heat and carefully pour into bowl. Allow to cool completely. Add remaining oil and strain through cheesecloth (if desired). Pour into prepared glass jar and store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Use within 1 month.

—Recipe adapted from TheKitchn.com

Sage Brown Butter

roasted-veg-with-sage-brown-butter-JSYield: ⅓ cup

½ cup salted butter
¼ cup fresh sage, washed, dried and roughly chopped
Fresh-cracked black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

Melt butter in a skillet on medium high heat. When butter starts to brown slightly, add the sage and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until the butter turns golden and begins to have a slightly nutty smell, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Serve immediately over roasted poultry, pasta, roasted vegetables or use as a dip for fresh bread.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin

Fresh Basil Pesto

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Photo by Mary Oswald

Yield: 1 cup

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup pine nuts, optional
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend to desired consistency.

Variations:
Spinach Pesto: Reduce basil to 1 cup and add 1 cup spinach.

Cilantro Pesto: Substitute 2 cups cilantro and ¼ cup parsley for the basil, and remove Parmesan cheese.

Sage Pesto: Use 2 cups sage instead of basil and substitute walnuts for pine nuts.

Note: Pesto can be made with many different vegetables and herbs. If not using immediately, store in refrigerator up to 5 days, or in freezer up to 2 months.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

Herb Tea with Mint and Lemon Verbena

Yield: 2 servings

2 cups water
½ cup fresh mint (about 20 leaves), rinsed and dried
½ cup lemon verbena (about 10 leaves), rinsed and dried

Bring water to a boil. Bruise or rub herbs; add to water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the tea into mugs. Drink immediately.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

Mint Sugar

Mint sugar is a perfect addition of fresh flavor to beverages like tea or lemonade. Sprinkle on berries for a unique treat.

Yield: ¼ cup

2 tablespoons mint leaves, rinsed and dried
¼ cup granulated sugar

Grind together mint and sugar, removing any large stems or leaves. Use immediately or store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

Fresh Herb Quiche

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Photo by Ken Glendenning

Yield: 8 servings

One piecrust in 9-inch pie plate (see Edible Omaha Harvest 2013 issue for recipe)
8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
¾ cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
6 large eggs
1 cup cream
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the sliced prosciutto on piecrust and sprinkle evenly with basil and cheese. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the piecrust. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

—Recipe developed for Edible Omaha by Julie Kolpin and Mary Oswald

 

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