From Tinctures to Pesto: Five Easy Ways to Use Your Herb Garden
|By Anais Alexandre|
|These greens back a flavorful punch.|
Herbs can be used in endless ways. Here are five easy recipes to use the aromatics from your back yard every day. We know, it's very Martha Stewart of us.
|Courtesy of Design-remont|
|A pretty array of bottles filled with herb-infused oils.|
The first rule with herb-infused oils is to make sure there is no moisture on the plant, because moisture generates mold. Mold will also grow if oil isn't filled to the top of the container.
Now that we've taken care of the safety issue, let's get down to business. Using a light, tasteless oil (such as canola) is better than olive oil, which tends to go rancid faster. Take a good handful of whatever herb you prefer; if there is any dirt on it, brush it off with a dry brush. Plunk the herbs into an empty cruet (oil dispenser) -- we found some on Amazon for $12 -- and then fill it completely with oil. The flavor will peak at six weeks and will be good for two months (one month if using olive oil).
|Courtesy of InnBrooklyn|
|Savory syrups to die for.|
Simple syrup is made of equal parts water and sugar. To make the simple syrup, place a cup of water and sugar in a medium sauce pan, stir until the sugar dissolves, and then allow it to bubble over medium heat for about five minutes to thicken it slightly.
With herb-flavored simple syrups, you can either add the herbs into the syrup while it's bubbling or place them in the container you'll use to store the syrup. Either way, you'll end up with an inspired ingredient you can use many ways. We love to make lemongrass syrup to drizzle on ginger-vanilla ice cream and to add to our lemongrass mint julep.