It’s the end of the season and I’m tearing up the herb garden for reconfiguration, irrigation repair, and soil amendments. Two of those chores are not my favorite. (I like reconfiguration.) I’m harvesting everything edible and trying to figure out what to do with it.
Are you with me? I can tell you’re riveted. These are barely even recipes but, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Pick, wash, discard stems and yucky bits. Spread herbs out on paper towels to dry for a few days. Make sure they are super-duper dry because any moisture will make them gross and unsafe. When they crumble between your fingertips, they’re ready to store in a clean, airtight jar.
Sage Shortbread Cookies
Combine 2 cups flour, half a cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh sage, and one teaspoon salt in the food processor - blend. Cut 1 cup room-temperature unsalted butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture - pulse until dough comes together.
A whole teaspoon of salt feels like a lot - I know. Trust me.
Scoop the dough out onto plastic wrap and form it into two logs about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter each. Chill (about 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough to slice). Interrupt the dough chilling every ten minutes or so to roll it on the counter-top into a more perfect cylinder. Or don’t, whatever.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into quarter-inch thick rounds and place on two baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake for 20 minutes, switching the baking sheets top to bottom after 10 minutes.
Combine one stick (half cup) of room-temperature unsalted butter + about a third cup of chopped chives + a pinch of kosher salt. Mix. Wrap in plastic and roll into a log and chill. (Do you want it to look perfect? Interrupt the butter chilling every ten minutes or so to roll it on the counter-top into a more perfect cylinder.) Slice and serve. It was delicious on roasted halibut and I bet it’ll be equally mouthwatering on a steak or some cornbread. It doesn’t keep forever, so eat it up right away.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup of rosemary leaves and 3 cups of coarse salt on a baking sheet and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes. It’s done when the rosemary is completely dry and crumbles between your fingertips. Cool. Pour into a food processor and pulse until the salt and rosemary are completely mixed. Store in an airtight jar and use on everything.
Bonus! I found a basil plant that I forgot about because it was hidden under a hulking pumpkin vine - tiny - but going strong. So I transplanted it and I’m hoping for winter basil, because what’s better than that?