Adding a burst of flavor with basil, parsley butter cubes

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Herbs offer a wonderful flavor to any dish. They also make the kitchen smell delightful.
I like to try adding different herbs to dishes each time I make them. A couple of my favorite, and basic, herbs are parsley and basil.

Parsley has a mild taste, that is a nice compliment fresh or dried to most dishes. Basil is a bolder flavor and is good used with other herbs or alone.

The most common recipe that comes to mind for these two ingredients is spaghetti. Add some of each to your tomatoes and other spices for a tasty sauce to pour over your plate of pasta.

A different use for basil is hamburgers. I discovered a recipe for this meal last year when I was looking for something new to do with hamburgers to grill out.

Take one of the cubes of butter and basil you have frozen (this can be done in ice cube trays by filling the squares about half full of basil that has been dipped in boiling water then topping with butter). Put that square in the middle of a hamburger patty, making sure it is surrounded on all sides with hamburger, then place it on the grill until cooked. The cubes melt into the burgers infusing the meat with the delicious taste of the butter and herb.

While you can taste it throughout the burger, the flavor gets more intense in the middle where the cube was placed. You may never go back to regular hamburgers again.

I also found a great dish for parsley that is frozen in butter cubes as well (see recipe). What ideas do you have for these herbs? I’m always looking for new recipes to try

Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!

Chicken Piccato Pasta Toss
(serves 4)

1/2 pound chicken
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cubes butter and parsley
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 shallot
1 T flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 T lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
handful sun-dried herb tomatoes
1/2 pound pasta
chives

Boil chicken one hour, then shred. Save broth. In skillet, add 1 T. olive oil and butter cubes. Add chopped shallot and cook until cubes melt. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and cook 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth in, also garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes (crumbled up). Let come to a bubble. Add chicken and heat 1-2 minutes. Toss cooked pasta with chicken and sauce. Top with chives.

Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at julieclements75@gmail.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.

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