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Fresh Recipes from Herb Society

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Opal Basil Jelly

Nancy Howard, Herb Society of America, Philadelphia Unit

2 ½ cups opal basil infusion

6 cups sugar

1 cup vinegar

2 quarts opal basil leaves and green basil leaves, and their blossoms

1 bottle of pectin

Juice of 1 lemon

Bring 1 ½ cups water and 1 cup vinegar to a boil. Add basil leaves and blossoms. Add lemon juice. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain.

Bring mixture to a roiling boil. Add bottle of pectin and boil one minute. Pour into hot jelly jars, wipe tops and put on two-part lids.

Optional: To secure sealing, put closed jars in a boiling water bath.

 

Grilled Brie with Tomato and Basil

Middy Dorrance, Herb Society of America, Philadelphia Unit

1 small wheel of Brie

2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped

1 clove garlic

2 cups fresh basil loosely packed, then chopped

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the wheel of Brie horizontally. Place half of the wheel on a sheet of aluminum foil, cut side facing up. In a bowl, mix basil, tomato, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside so flavors can merge.

Spread mixture on open side of Brie. Place second half of Brie on top of first, creating a sandwich. Fold foil, sealing in the Brie.

Place on a hot grill for 10-15 minutes, or in a 350° oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with crackers.

 

Gingered Crab Cakes

From Hope Riley, Herb Society of America, Philadelphia Unit

1 lb. lump crabmeat

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 thumb’s worth of finely chopped ginger

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped 

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. butter

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 lemon

Gently mix first five ingredients. Gently form four balls, squeezing them slightly. Roll balls in breadcrumbs. Let rest in refrigerator for an hour. Heat oil and butter in frying pan. Sauté balls on one side for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Turn and flatten slightly, then cook 2-3 more minutes. Serve with a lemon quarter. 

 

Crab Cilantro Dip

From Hope Riley, Herb Society of America, Philadelphia Unit

1lb. lump crabmeat 

½ cup light mayonnaise

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lemon

Gently fold ingredients together. Serve with crackers or scoops of choice.

 

Ginger and Dill Shrimp Wrapped with Snow Peas

Holly Cusamano, Herb Society of America, Philadelphia Unit

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (28 to 30 size)

1 bay leaf

15-20 snow peas

For the vinaigrette:

½ cup olive oil

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil shrimp with bay leaf in water until just done. Drain and immerse in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again. Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well. Pour vinaigrette over shrimp and let marinate for 1-2 hours.

Remove strings from pea pods. Blanch in water for 30 seconds. Drain and immerse in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again. Split the pea pods in two halves. Wrap them around the shrimp, securing with a toothpick.

Yields approximately 30 servings.