Deborah Thorna, an herb expert, gives us some tips on the proper way to treat different kinds of herbs. Herbs that are annual, like parsley, and basil, are planted in the spring and die in the fall. They must be replanted every year. Annual plants are best used fresh when their brighter flavors can really shine, but if you would like to save them for latter use s better to freeze annuals than to dry them. Perenial herbs, on the other hand, stand up better and can be dried. Sage, lavender, and rosemary are just a few examples of popular perennials. Deborah will be instructing four classes about the traditional uses of herbs. The first class is Monday, April 23rd, at 6pm. The classes will be held at the Petit Branch library. Registration is required. To register, call 435-3636. Ms. Thorna shares a tasty nutritional recipe made with fresh herbs.
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 cups flat leaf parsley, tightly packed
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup raw walnuts
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Place the oven rack in the middle if the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with enough oil to lightly coat them. Toss them again with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once or twice, until potatoes are tender (approximately 25 minutes). Let cool to slightly warmer than room temperature. While the potatoes are cooking, place parsley, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor and puree. Toss 2 tablespoons of mixture (or more if you like) with the sweet potatoes and serve.
Tossing the pesto with hot potatoes will muddy the flavor and the brightness of the pesto. This dish is terrific at room temperature. You can also throw some chopped walnuts on top for texture and additional protein. Great dish to take to a potluck!ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH PARSLEY PESTO (Adapted from Whole Living)