Friday, July 5, 2013

Herb Garden Harvest

We have massive amounts of oregano, basil, sage and mint in our garden so yesterday I made it my mission to use mass quantities of at least a few of them.  The result was a really excellent dinner.  The bean dish uses a hot oven which I only recommend if it is under 80 degrees.

Creamy sage beans and crunchy green salad with basil dressing.
Creamy Sage Beans
4 servings.  Takes an hour and a half to make.

1 bulb of garlic
2 cans white beans (cannellini/great northern/navy/etc), drained
1 carrot, diced
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cups veggie broth
Fresh ground pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap the garlic in foil and roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.  You'll know it's done when tongs easily can mash the bulb. Remove from the stove and reduce the oven to 380.

While the garlic is roasting and cooling prep the rest of the bean dish and make the salad below.  Combine the beans, carrot, sage, broth and a few grinds of pepper in a small dutch over.  Once the garlic has cooled enough that you can handle it, use a serrated knife to cut the top 1/2 inch from the bulb so you have chopped off the very top of each clove, exposing them.  Squeeze each clove on to a cutting board.  Finely chop the roasted garlic and stir into the dutch oven.  Cover and place in the oven for about an hour, stirring occasionally and making sure the beans never get dry.  The beans should grow in size, the dish should become creamy and when you remove the pot everything should be very moist but not soupy.

Crunchy Green Salad with Basil Dressing
4 side dish servings.  Resist the urge to drink the dressing.

1 small head of dark leafy lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
Handful of spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
4 stalks of celery, sliced into bite sized pieces
Roasted hazelnuts, chopped into small pieces (or pine nuts)

Creamy basil dressing:
About 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves (handful)
Juice from one lemon
Large pinch salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 clove of garlic
2 heaping tablespoons Greek yogurt
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place all items into a blender or food processor and process until everything is pureed.  Makes enough dressing for about 2 recipes of the salad above.


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