Flavor Fast: Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Nothing flavors food better than fresh herbs. It makes you wonder how you ever get by on the dried stuff. None of these recipes takes more than twenty minutes, so, while summer is still with us, take advantage and treat yourself and anyone you may be cooking for to the luxury of fresh herbs.

Sauteed Shrimps and Scallops with Cilantro
Serves 3-4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in a saute pan and then add green pepper. Saute for 1 minute and then add scallops, shrimp and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring or shaking pan frequently, and add tomatoes, cilantro and chili powder. Saute until tomatoes reduce and form a sauce (about 7 minutes). Serve over rice or angel-hair pasta with steamed squash as a side dish.

Ratatouille
Serves 3-4

  • 2 cups diced yellow squash (1 squash)
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 cups diced eggplant
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and sliced

Over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan until hot and add eggplant. Stir eggplant while cooking and add the remaining oil. Saute eggplant until it begins to turn translucent and add shallots and squash. Continue to saute until eggplant and squash begin to turn light brown. Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook until tomatoes begin to boil, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve as an appetizer on toasted French bread or as a main dish over rice or penne pasta. This would also be nice as a side dish to broiled lamb chops or grilled chicken.

Potato Corn Salad with a Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing
Serves 4-6

  • 2 3/4 pounds red potatoes, cooked and quartered
  • 2/3 cup corn, cooked (8 3/4-ounce can, drained)
  • 1 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chilies

In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes with the corn and chilies. By hand or in a food processor, mix cilantro with the mayonnaise and buttermilk. Add dressing to the potato mixture until mixed through and keep chilled until ready to serve. Excellent with roasted or grilled chicken, ribs or steaks.

Green Bean and Radish Salad with Dill
Serves 3

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • 6 ounce bag of radishes
  • 1 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a large saucepan, cover beans and radishes with water and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Pour beans and radishes into a colander and rinse with cold water. In a food processor or by hand, mix chopped dill with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and put aside. Place beans in a large mixing bowl, slice radishes and add them to the bowl, and toss with dill dressing. Can be served as is with beef, chicken or fish or on a bed of sliced tomatoes.

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