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Spice up your FIESTA!

CINCO DE MAYO HERB GARDEN

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your favorite recipes. This herb combination will give you great flavor for spicy dishes. Best of all these herbs will keep going and give you a great flavor profile all throughout the summer.

Cilantro ‘Santo’ - the unmistakable strong, sharp scent and taste that is a staple ingredient in salsa and other Mexican dishes. A member of the carrot family, Cilantro Santo grows slow and steady. Cilantro is not fussy about soil; just plant it in any full sun site.

Oregano Hot and Spicy - these flavorful leaves make a great addition to Mexican dishes. Plants form a rounded mound with multiple trailing stems. The leaves boast a traditional oregano flavor—but with greater pungency. Plants thrive in any soil that’s well-drained, as long as it’s not constantly moist. Grow in full sun to part shade.

Mexican Mint Marigold – This herb has an anise like flavor making it a great substitute for French tarragon. With a Sweet licorice flavor it will add depth to salads and main dishes. It will grow all spring and summer before it produces many yellow, single marigold-like blossoms.

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Fragrant and Yummy Too

SPRING HERB BASKETS

The Easter holiday is just around the corner, and if you’re looking to steer clear of the traditional sugar laden Easter basket, then we have just what you’re looking for. Why not try a more natural approach to the traditional Easter basket this year? A living basket overflowing with fresh English Thyme, French Tarragon and Tuscan Blue Rosemary brings the convenience of the herb garden to your outdoor patio or a sunny window indoors. And best of all, these herbs can be harvested for months to come - and did we mention that herbs are delightfully aromatic and beautiful too? So this Easter, consider the perfect sugar-free option for that cook or gardener in your life! Here are a few ways to use these edible and fragrant beauties:

Thyme – A low growing evergreen, this herb is extensively used in French cuisine. Thyme is the perfect compliment to veal, lamb, beef, poultry, fish, stuffing, stews, soups, sauces, stock, herb butters, flavored vinegars, beans, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cheese, onions, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, leeks, mushrooms, eggs, and rice.

French Tarragon – This leafy green is also widely used in French cuisine. It's distinctive yet delicate herbal flavor is particularly well suited when paired with fish and chicken. Tarragon is also delicious in salad dressings and in sauces.

Rosemary - One of the oldest herbs known to man, this evergreen perennial is a real treat to cook with. Rosemary is ideal for spicing up pork and poultry dishes and is also used to flavored butter, oil and vinegar.

From our Table to Yours…

Growing your own herbs is a rewarding and efficient way to making it easy to harvest fresh herbs for cooking, and with Thanksgiving a little more than a week away, it’s never too soon to start planning your menu. So, here are some of our favorite crowd-pleasing holiday recipes using your very own fresh herbs. These classics combine fresh rosemary, thyme and sage to create dishes that will dazzle your guests! Once the holidays are over, place your herbs in a kitchen window sill. And remember, herbs also make a great hostess gift to bring along to your Thanksgiving gathering. Bon appétit!

Sage – comes in lots of varieties including Garden, Golden, Blue, Pineapple, Tri-color and Clary, all of which can be used in cooking. Sage is a must in stuffing for poultry. Roast it with pork; add to butter and sauté chicken along with it. Sage also goes well in egg and cheese dishes. Try a little crumbled dry sage over a bowl of black-eyed peas. Dried leaves will keep their flavor for years.

Thyme – like sage, this herb is also available in many different varieties including Common, Woolly, "Mother-of-Thyme", Lemon, English, Silver, and Golden. Thyme is the perfect compliment to poultry, fish, soup and vegetable dishes. Add a pinch of thyme to a tablespoon of honey and add to drained cooked carrots and onions. Thyme, along with sage, rosemary and oregano should be considered the basics of every herb garden.

Rosemary – one of the oldest herbs known to man and is available in many varieties and forms, all of which can be used in cooking. Some top choices for Hampton Roads include Tuscan Blue, Arp and Barbeque, so named for its long stems which can be used for skewers when grilling to add flavor. Rosemary is a natural for pork and poultry dishes. Use a branch of Rosemary as a basting brush for barbecued chicken or as a simple garnish. Place a few springs on top of a roast or baked chicken.

Our Favorite Herb Stuffing Recipe:

• 12 cups slightly dry bread
• 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. ground sage
• 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
• 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
• 1 cup of chicken broth
• 6 tablespoons of butter, melted

Combine bread, onion, salt, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Add broth and butter; toss lightly to mix. Use to stuff a 12-pound turkey or bake covered, in a 2-quart casserole at 325º until heated through, about one hour.

Our Favorite Herb Butter Recipe:

Spread it on toast or eggs at breakfast. Toss it with pasta at lunch. Melt it on fish or chicken at dinner. And, of course use on fresh bread for your holiday feast.

• Dash of salt and pepper
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp sage
• 1 tsp rosemary
• 1 stick unsalted of butter

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well with a spoon until combined and all ingredients are incorporated. Place butter mixture into plastic wrap and roll to form a log shape. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

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