As you can probably guess, Herbalicious focused on using fresh herbs in sweet and savory foods.
Sherry began the evening with an overview of various herbs and their common uses, as well as samples of some of the treats we would be making in class that night, like lemon herbed water, an herbed quiche, an herbed quick bread, an herbed compound butter with fresh French bread, and for dessert, a strawberry-basil galette.
Many of the students in class had herb gardens, but were unsure as to how best to use them before the herbs spoiled. Others had questions about other uses for herbs, such as in household applications like pest repellents.
Sherry taught us how to buy, clean and store fresh herbs and offered various ways to use them, including how they differ from dried herbs. Then we got cooking.
First, we made a compound butter, which is easy to freeze and adds a rich dimension to grilled meats and fish, as well as a fabulous spread for toasted or grilled bread. TIP: Mixing olive oil into the butter keeps it spreadable.
Then, we began a quiche, which when baked that night, came out a little darker than we'd hoped, but was delicious nonetheless.
Next was an herbed quick bread, which was ready in minutes. The herbs and cheese created a savory profile which would be a great compliment to a soup or chili or as part of a simple breakfast or late night snack.
Last was a sweet treat: a strawberry-basil galette, using a recipe taken from The Beekman Boys at Beekman 1802. Ready for the oven in eight minutes, this rustic pie-tart hybrid is perfect for when you have fruit and herbs to use.
The chiffonade of basil (rolled and chopped to create julienne-like strips) provided a hint of basil flavor that heightened the essence of the strawberries. Try it for yourself. You will love it (The link to the recipe is provided above).
Prior to cooking, the pièce de résistance
I can't wait to see what classes Sherry offers in the fall.
Do you have an herb garden? How do you use fresh herbs.