Herbaceous. Perhaps one of my favorite words to throw around casually in the summer or anytime, really. Even lately in my cooking classes I’ve been asked to address herbs, how to prep and store them, what to make with them, and even how to serve them (and with what for that matter).
I love herbs for many reasons. Obviously, they pack a serious flavor punch. But also, they are versatile, healthy, and very complimentary to specific dishes. For example: cilantro and fish go really well together due to their light flavor. Tarragon and chicken are heaven on a plate (perhaps its the meatiness of the chicken with the lingering of licorice. Thyme & rosemary love vegetables, especially potatoes. And who could deny the romance between tomatoes and basil???
With all this talk of herbs, I thought I’d take the chance to share one of my favorite herbaceous sauces with you, plus a recipe for an awesome bright green herb soup. Stay tuned for our live video of this soup on our Facebook page soon! Don’t forget to follow us to get updates every time we publish a new live video cooking tutorial…
SOUP Herbaceous Soup
Yield 1 quart
I love this soup because it's simple, can be made vegan and is fantastic hot or chilled. The key here is to make sure you don't overcook the herbs so that the soup keeps its bright green color. It also won't hurt to have a decent blender!
2 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
2 bunches green onions, roughly chopped
1 bunch chives, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and roughly chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 cup basil, roughly chopped (stems included)
salt and pepper to taste (start with a 1/2 tsp of each)
1 cup sour cream, creme fraiche or a dairy-free option of either
Basil Oil for drizzling (scroll down for the recipe)
- Begin by heating the olive oil in a soup pot for 5 minutes. Add yellow onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add potato and broth, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until potato is cooked through.
- Transfer everything to a blender, add green onions, cilantro, parsley, and basil.
- Cover and let herbs sit in hot soup for 5 minutes.
- Puree until completely smooth and add salt + pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Add sour cream or creme fraiche, puree once more to incorporate and pour into bowls.*
- Drizzle with a touch of basil oil and serve hot, or reserve basil oil, chill and serve cold.
*If you prefer a super smooth soup, simply puree the entire soup as directed and pour through a sieve to remove any woody particles from the herbs.
MAIN Salmon with Oregano-Mint Orange Sauce
Yield 4-6 servings
An interesting combo, we are mixing the flavors of oregano and fresh mint with sweet orange to create a light sauce that adds a huge punch of flavor to salmon. Get extra veg with the roasted green beans, too!
1 bunch fresh oregano, leaves removed
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed
2 oranges, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp salt and pepper, divided
2-4 fresh Atlantic salmon steaks
1 cup white wine or water
1 lb green beans, trimmed
- Set oven temperature to 250 F.
- Begin by making oregano-mint sauce: in a blender or food processor, puree oregano leaves, mint leaves, orange zest, orange juice, half of olive oil and half of salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Pour the rest of the olive oil in the pan and add salmon steaks (without crowding pan). Cook each for 5-6 minutes per side, using a spatula to shimmy under each steak and flip carefully without breaking apart fish.
- Remove fish after cooking and place on a plate. Keep warm in the oven covered loosely in foil.
- In the same pan you cooked the fish, add white wine or water and deglaze pan over medium heat. Add green beans and cover. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Serve with green beans + glaze from pan (those are important flavors!) and top with a salmon steak and a drizzle of oregano-mint sauce.
SIDE Heirloom Tomato Steaks with Basil Oil
I love to slice local heirloom tomatoes nice and thick in the summer. Their nooks and crannies help absorb the homemade basil oil in every pocket and the acidity of the dressing helps to cut the sweetness of the fruit. Store leftovers in a jar for an instant pasta topping!
2 lbs large heirloom tomatoes, stems and hull removed and sliced along the radius into ½” slices
1 large bunch basil
2 cups olive oil
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar (or sherry vinegar)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1 pinch red pepper flakes *optional
- Arrange tomatoes on a platter, slightly overlapping and sprinkle with salt.
- Make basil oil: In a blender, combine basil (stems included), olive oil, white balsamic, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Purée until smooth.
- Store in a mason jar and shake before using.
- To serve, use a spoon to drizzle basil oil over tomatoes.
SIDE Whipped Potatoes with Bright Green Chive Sauce
Yield 8-10 servings
Whipped potatoes are such comfort food! Throw on some healthy green sauce for flavoring and brightness.
If you've got a smaller family, use leftovers from this recipe to make some soup this week!
1 bag white or yellow potatoes (not russets)
4 cloves garlic, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 bunches chives
1 lemon, juiced
Water as needed
½ tsp salt and pepper plus 1 pinch salt (for later)
- In a large stock pot, add potatoes then fill with water to cover. Add a big pinch of salt and cook potatoes whole until soft (about 30 minutes). If you’re in a hurry, cube potatoes in 2-inch chunks first then add to the water.
- While potatoes are cooking, add half of the garlic, half of the olive oil, chives, lemon juice + salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Once potatoes are done, drain off water and add to the bowl of an electric mixer (or if you don’t have one, just add to a large bowl and do this by hand). Add the rest of the garlic and olive oil plus a pinch of salt and using the whisk attachment (or a potato masher if doing by hand) beat potatoes until they are light and fluffy.
- To serve, place potatoes in a large serving bowl, make a well in the center and add chive sauce.
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