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summer vegetable and herb combos

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  • Sarah Jun 27, 2005 08:29 PM
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Very excited about all the summer veggies, but I don't always know which herbs compliment/complement which veggies.
What herb-veggie combos do you love?

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  1. Carrot/marjarom

    Sweet peas/mint
    -Becca

    1. I have many favorites, but here are a few off the top of my head:

      Basil w/ tomato or eggplant
      Dill w/ zucchini or asparagus
      Thyme w/ mushrooms
      Mint w/ peas, fava beans, or fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe)

      7 Replies
      1. re: Carb Lover

        dill with asparagus- never thought of it- but it sounds great. Do you roast the asparagus, adding the dill after it is cooked? I have lots of dill, and was trying to think of new ways to use it. I also have lots of thai basil, which I love. If you have any ideas for me, please let me know.

        1. re: macca

          If my asparagus is really pristine, I prefer to steam in a pan of shallow salted water. I then toss w/ a little EVOO, dijon mustard, chopped dill, black pepper, and touch more salt if it needs it. If you want a light meal, then top w/ a poached or fried egg and some grated parmesan. Also works well as a starter or brunch dish. Great w/ thick slices of grilled bread if you're not watching carbs.

          No matter how you cook the asparagus, I'd add the dill off the heat or at the very end of cooking for that slightly charred flavor. There was a dill thread that Ruth Lafler started in the spring that you could search for.

          Definitely use Thai basil w/ eggplant...Japanese variety if you can get it. Great in stir-fry or as a condiment in SE Asian sandwiches and salads. Pictured below is a typical fusion (ie, I need to use up what I have) dish made just last week...regular basil (Thai would have been better) used in an Asian stir-fry. Besides basil, also had winter melon (delicious!), Japanese eggplant, dried chiles, cilantro, onions, garlic, chicken broth, dry white wine, soy sauce, and Serrano ham (since I didn't have any ground pork). Thickened w/ a little tapioca starch and finished w/ drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Sometimes my fusion dishes turn out really odd; this one turned out good.

          Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

          1. re: Carb Lover

            thanks so much. you have given me lots of great ideas. the stir fry is beautuful! I printed out your nmessage, as there was lots of good info I want to save

            1. re: macca

              Being my anal self, I have to mention that I forgot the squirt of lemon juice in the asparagus w/ dill dish.

              I also like to bake salmon in the oven on a bed of dill w/ lemon slices stuffed into the cavity.

              Also great stuffed into a jar for quick homemade pickles. In a jar, I put sliced seedless cucumbers and smashed garlic cloves. Then put in cider vinegar, some water to dilute, sugar, chile flakes, and dill. Liquid should cover cucumbers. Shake a bit and let marinate in fridge for at least half a day. Tastes better w/ age and holds up well for a couple of weeks in fridge.

              1. re: Carb Lover

                thanks. will try when my cukes are ready. Right now, the plants are only about 5 inches high. (I live in the Boston area). I love cukes, but usually get overrun with them by September, and recipe are always welcome.

                ps- I probably would have added lemon juice to the asparagus- I add lemon juice to almost everything.

          2. re: macca

            I made the following dip from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" and it was really good although I couldn't find Thai basil so I had to use regular. Instructions paraphrased. The recipe said the yield was about 2 cups but it was definitely less.

            Spicy Eggplant Spread with Thai Basil

            1 pound eggplant (any variety, I used Japanese)
            1-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
            2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
            1 tablespoon mushroom or dark Chinese soy sauce (I used the soy sauce)
            2 to 3 serrano chiles, finely minced
            3 tablespoons dark sesame or roasted peanut oil (I used the dark sesame)
            3 garlic cloves, minced (I probably used a bit less)
            3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil
            salt
            small basil leaves
            2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted

            Roast the eggplant, allowing the skin to char. Cool, peel, and coarsely chop the flesh.

            Mix the sugar, vinegar, soy and chiles together and set aside.

            Heat a wok or skillet over high heat, add the oil, heat the oil, add the garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds or less, don't let it burn. Add the eggplant and stir fry for about 2 minutes, then add the sugar, vinegar, soy and chiles and fry for an additional minute. Remove from heat, stir in the chopped basil, taste for salt.

            Basil leaves and sesame seeds are garnish. Serve with crackers, croutons, etc.

            1. re: Debbie W.

              I make this, too. Sometimes I use broccoli instead of eggplant. I like it cold for lunch the day after I make it. thanks

        2. We just got some fresh English peas in our Full Belly box (organic subscription farm veggie/fruit box). I made fresh pea soup (originally in Deborah Madison's Green's cookbook) with mint "cream" - I use Fage yoghurt mixed with lowfat Pavels yog mixed with slivers of fresh mint. So veddy veddy good.

          1. Thyme is great on new potatoes, steamed or served cold as a simple salad with (in addition to the thyme) olive oil, salt and pepper.

            Lemon or lime basil is delicious with corn. My husband grills corn, slathering it with butter S&P, then tucking basil leaves in before wrapping it in foil and throwing on the grill. Cilantro also works well with this method but mine bolted a month ago!

            1. Rosemary with roasted potatoes and garlic. Rosemary, fresh thyme, garlic with a mixture of yellow squash/zucchini/onions and a splash of lemon juice/EVOO/balsamic vinegar and grilled....

              1. What would you do with tarragon? I have a barrel full of it growing but don't know what to do with it. Please help, all types of recipes are welcome, from starters to desserts.

                1. sorrel sauce for cold poached salmon, not a veggie, but a perfect sorrel match.
                  oregano for tomatoes
                  dill for cukes

                  (i'm reviving this thread, since it is timeless, and since the mods axed my "summer herbs" thread -- at least i can't find it.)