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Prairie Flavors Content!


Fresh Herb Style


By Laura Araujo ✓ Marinate your meat!


Place uncooked meat in a plastic bag with herb vinaigrette and refrigerate for several hours before cooking.


✓ Rub them!


Make a gremolata—a combination of lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped herbs (often parsley). Rub it on meat, season with salt and pepper, and grill.


✓ Season your salt!


Combine equal parts of kosher salt and sturdy herbs (such as thyme, rose- mary, oregano, sage) and pulse in a food processor. Transfer to a baking sheet and allow the mixture to dry for a day before storing in an airtight container for up to a year.


✓ Freeze them!


Pack fresh, chopped herbs into an ice cube tray. Pour olive oil or water over the herbs and freeze. Transfer frozen herb cubes to a plastic bag, store them in the freezer, and pull them out to cook with as needed. Sturdy herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage work best.


TIPS


✓ Always use a sharp knife when cutting herbs to prevent bruising, which can discolor them.


✓ Wash herbs just before using them. Gently pat them dry or spin them in a salad spinner.


✓ Butter up!


Add chopped fresh herbs to softened butter. Wrap it in plastic wrap and re- frigerate. Spread it on bread, add a pat on top of grilled meat, or melt it over veggies or starches. Try mixing herbs into cream cheese too.


✓ Spread them!


Make pesto by pureeing 4 parts fresh herbs (traditionally basil) in a food processor with 1 part olive oil, 1 part parmesan cheese, and 1 part toasted pine nuts or walnuts. Add fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Spread pesto on sandwiches and burgers or add it to pasta, pizza or soup for extra fl avor.


✓ Use the stems!


Wash the stems well. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the herb stems and olive oil. Cook to 180°F. This will infuse the herb fl avor into the oil. Strain out the stems and use as a dip for bread or drizzle it over pasta. For food safety, store infused oil in the refrigerator and use within a week.


✓ Sweeten your tea!


Combine equal parts water, sugar and herbs. Boil the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Strain out the herbs and store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use syrup to sweeten drinks, fruit salad, or glaze a cake with it.


✓ Decorate your plate!


Save a few sprigs of the herbs used in a dish to garnish the fi nished meal. Or, add them to a centerpiece to decorate your table.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to using fresh herbs.


Here are 10 ideas: ✓ Dress your salad!


Make an herb vinaigrette by whisking together equal parts vinegar and oil. Mix in grated garlic, chopped fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Or, toss some fresh herbs in with your salad greens for added fl avor.


Bonus


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