Today’s theme is the herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. There is no better “thyme” of year than the winter holidays to bring all your herbs into the kitchen and use them in generous amounts to bring out the flavors in your holiday dishes.
Dried herbs in bottles that we buy in the grocery store are used sparingly usually. But if you have been growing your own herbs you can go wild… we wrote several blog posts earlier this year about how bees love herbs and we suggested starting your own herb garden in pots, window boxes or hanging baskets.
Many of us are most familiar with herbs when they are part of a stuffing recipe or dressing as it is called in some parts of the USA. Today, though, we are bringing a classic French recipe for Ratatouille.
This 9:18-minute video by French Cooking Academy is well worth watching if you want to make up a pot of these exquisitely flavorful vegetables and herbs… and so many of the ingredients are thanks to our beloved pollinators, the bees. Watch the video to see how to prepare and cook it, it is healthy and only needs to stew in a pot at a low heat for about half an hour.
1 small eggplant (aubergine)
1 zucchini (courgette)
2 small bell peppers
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
2 or 3 ripe tomatoes
few twigs of fresh Thyme
1 bouquet garni (in a sachet)
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to cook
Please watch the video above for the "how to" part, it is very easy to prepare and cook.
And for would-be gardeners who don't want to get their hands dirty in the earth, here is a great solution. This 3:19 minute video by Natural Ways is called 9 Herbs You Can Grow In Water Over and Over Again for Endless Supply:
Parsley (Petroselinum) is quite hardy and grows well in a container. It is full of vitamins A & C and settles your digestion. It helps improve your breath after eating onion and garlic.
Sage (Salvia) most stuffing has at least a little sage in it. Sage is also soothing for the digestive tract especially when fatty foods are involved, and it has preservatives and antiseptic properties.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus) is a highly popular evergreen herb that is used in many types of recipes, from baking breads to soups to casseroles. It has a cool and fragrant flavor like an intense burst of pine, mint, eucalyptus, wood and citrus. Many scones these days have cranberry & rosemary or orange & rosemary combinations.
Thyme (Thymus) this gentle herb is used in bouquet garni and is often an ingredient that flavors soups, quiches and roasted vegetables.
Please enjoy these videos and the recipe, and if you are impressed with the subtle but rich flavors of the ratatouille, stop by French Cooking Academy’s Youtube page and give them a like or sign up to follow them for more French recipes.