Tuesday, April 20, 2010


What do you think of when you hear the word herbal? Hippies? Homeopathic remedies? Many things come to my mind when I hear the word herbal: a sense of serenity, fragrant bliss, even romance (some herbs have legends and lore deeply rooted in love).

I LOVE herbs. Maybe because they are so easy to grow, and flourish with the least amount of care. Maybe for their endless culinary uses, or because their scent makes me happy (I'm easily entertained). Whatever the reason, I love herbs. 

When I first moved to the Hill Country of Texas, I discovered a small nursery that was home to a myriad of herbs. I found countless varieties of oregano, sage, thyme, mint, basil, lavender, rosemary, the list goes on. Move over Disneyland, this nursery was now my happiest place on earth. And it still is. I've started incorporating herbs in pots with flowers on my patio. I love the mix of flowers and herbs, and they seem to have a harmonious relationship, growing well together. 

I have several cookbooks centered around herbs, buy my favorite is The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld.  For me, cooking with herbs is like icing a cake; it completes the dish. I relish in being able to walk out into your yard, clip a handful of fragrant herbs, and transform an ordinary recipe into an extraordinary one. This recipe, from The Herbfarm Cookbook, makes a wonderful herb infused bread that will show off your herbalness!

Slice a loaf of artisan bread, being careful not to cut all the way through. Brush the inside of the slices with melted garlic butter (In a small pot, melt unsalted butter and add crushed garlic. Heat until  the garlic loses its raw fragrance but does not brown). Tuck handfuls of fresh herbs between the slices (I use a mixture of oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram). Wrap the loaf loosely in foil, leaving the top open. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until  heated through. Discard the herbs when serving.


hipMomma said...

Well, I think it just pretty! I just planted a few herb pots. Not sure what I'll do with them yet but I'm kinda excited.

Happy Girl said...

Wow!! Seriously?? Who would want to eat it because it looks so pretty! You just constantly impress me with your culinary abilities and put my little herb box to shame. I guess I could do something with it - that might help! You inspire!

Honorary Indian said...

Animesh loves that Herb Farm cookbook....and the herbs in that quiche today? Simply divine.

Cindy said...

i love herbs too! i love being able to step off the porch and grab whatever i need all year, except the basil of course, gotta plant that every year. thanks for the cookbook suggestion, it looks wonderful! i will see if my library has it.

I make garlic herb bread too , but nothing like what yours looks like. of my goodnes, that is so pretty and looks so deliscious and sophisticated!