Monday, July 13, 2009

Fresh Herbs and an Alfresco Summer Meal

Herb Identification from top left to right:
Dill, Oregano, St. John's Wort, Lemon Bergamot
Rosemary, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon
Thyme, Lemon Basil, Pineapple Sage, Sweet Basil
Cilantro, Lavender, Mint, Lemon Basil

One of my favorite things about summer is my herb garden and being able to pick fresh herbs whenever they're needed for a tasty summer meal. When Aunt Lisa came to our house a few nights ago, I grabbed some herbs and it all came together. We ate outside on the back patio, surrounded by the gardens that provided the delicious flavors for the menu: Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Marinade , Zucchini and Herb Saute, Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes. Bon Appetit!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Marinade
1/2 cup fresh lemon-basil, finely chopped (or substitute your favorite herb)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
1 cup olive oil
6-8 chicken cutlets

Whisk together the basil, lemon juice, wine, mustard, salt, pepper, and scallions. Continue to whisk while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. Place marinade in a large zip top bag and add the chicken cutlets. Seal the bag and place it in a bowl (in case the bag leaks) and refrigerate
for at least 3 hours or overnight. Grill over hot coals until cooked through and serve.

Oven-Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
2 pounds small red potatoes, cut in half or quartered if larger
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped

Place the potatoes in a bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the rosemary on top and stir to combine. Transfer potatoes to an oiled or foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F until tender and browned, about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Herbed Zucchini
3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 T each olive oil and butter
2 thyme springs, or substitute oregano or basil
A handful of parsley, finely chopped

Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper and saute until desired tenderness is achieved, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and serve.


  1. Yummy!! I love fresh herbs! I grew some for the first time this year. I think we are having some of those potatoes for supper tonite to go with some pork tenderloin!

  2. OMG!!! I wrote a post it note to remember to ask you how you make your pesto.....and here your post is about herbs!!! I have pesto on the brain since you were saying you were going to make some the other day...but now I want this whole entire dinner!!!!

  3. Does anyone know if Lemon Bergamot is a perennial?

  4. Thanks for the picture guide! I stumbled across this while trying to identify a lemon scented "weed" growing at the edges of my yard, and growing wild up and down the alleys in my neighborhood. My "weed" isn't here, but your image caught my eye. (Turns out I have an abundance of lemon balm. Yay!)

    Meanwhile, you're right that using fresh herbs from the garden transforms a simple meal into a memorable event.

    Love your blog. Will read my way through it and share with my chef hubby. (He is Thanks!



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