Cooking with Herbs

F&W’s Grace Parisi reveals how she keeps up with her overachieving plot.

When my family and I moved into our house in Brooklyn, New York, the backyard resembled a garbage dump filled with old car batteries, broken glass and stained mattresses. After clearing out the space, we spent three years composting like crazy, trying to enrich the soil enough to plant a garden; now, 12 years later, we have a thriving one. Although the yard is too shady to grow vegetables (or grass, for that matter, though that’s never stopped me from trying—my annual lesson in futility), herbs do really well, and I’ve found that some are unexpectedly prolific. Parsley, mint, basil and lovage sprout like weeds and always play a huge part in my summer suppers. In the recipes that follow, I’ve embraced that abundance and created dishes that use herbs in fast, delicious ways.

DIY Herb Pantry

Cooking with Herbs: Make Herb Oil
Herb Oil
Blanch herbs, then puree with olive oil to use in dressings.
© Ryan Liebe
Cooking with Herbs: Make an Herb-Infused Syrup
Herb Syrup
Infuse herbs in simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water) for tea.
© Ryan Liebe
Cooking with Herbs: DIY Dried Herbs
Dried Herbs
Hang herb bundles to dry, then crumble into sauces.
© Ryan Liebe

video Video: Cooking with Basil

PUBLISHED August 2012