Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Delicious herb recipes

Add some home-grown flavour to your meals with our delicious herb recipes

Chicken Kebabs with Dill Pesto (serves 4)
In this recipe, the feathery herb dill combines with other ingredients to create a refreshing spring pesto that adds wonderful colour and flavour to chicken.

Dill Pesto
2 cups (500 mL) fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1 tsp. (5 mL) lemon zest
2 tbsp. (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp. (15 mL) pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard
3/4 cup (175 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) each salt and pepper, or to taste
Pinch granulated sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor; purée until smooth. Reserve.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small zucchini, cut into 8 rounds,
1/2 in. (1 cm) each
1 yellow pepper, cut into 16 squares,
1 in. (2.5 cm) each
1 small red onion, cut into 16 chunks, 1 in. (2.5 cm) each
2 tbsp. (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Pinch each salt and pepper, or to taste

1/4 cup (60 mL) dill pesto
1/4 cup (60 mL) cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt

Cut each chicken breast into 8 diagonal strips and place in a bowl with all but 4 tbsp. (60 mL) of the dill pesto. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, soak 8 large wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Reserve.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove skewers from water. Thread each skewer as follows: 2 pieces of chicken, 2 onion chunks, 2 more pieces of chicken, 1 zucchini round, another 2 pieces of chicken and 2 pepper squares. Place skewers on grill and cook, with barbecue cover down, for approximately 20 minutes, turning skewers every 5 minutes.

Combine sauce ingredients, drizzle over kebabs and serve with pita bread and rice or potatoes.

Smoked Salmon, Chive & Tarragon Spread
In this elegant appetizer, smoked salmon gets a sprightly boost from chives and tarragon.

1 cup (250 g) regular cream cheese spread, softened (8-oz. container)
2 tbsp. (30 mL) sour cream
1 cup (250 mL) smoked salmon, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. (45 mL) fresh chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh tarragon, finely chopped
2 tsp. (10 mL) hot prepared horseradish
2 tsp. (10 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 mL) lemon zest
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
Pinch each salt and pepper, or to taste

2 chives cut to fit bottom of bowl
3 thin cucumber slices

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl; using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat until mixture softens and is well combined.

Line a 2-cup (500-mL) bowl with enough plastic wrap to overlap edges. Lay 2 chives criss-crossed on bottom of bowl, then top with 3 cucumber slices. Scrape salmon spread over top and cover tightly with additional plastic wrap. Refri-gerate for several hours.

When ready to serve, unmould spread from plastic wrap and gently place, chive-cucumber side up, on a dish with crackers and crudités. Makes 2 cups (500 mL).

Spring Fling Salad with Mint Vinaigrette (serves 4)
This lovely green and pink salad comes to life with a vinaigrette that has a sweet hint of mint, the perfect herb for spring vegetables.

1 cup (250 mL) green beans, tailed and halved on the diagonal
1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced almonds
1 large ruby red grapefruit
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
4 cups (1 L) salad greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) radishes, halved and thinly sliced

3 tbsp. (45 mL) fresh mint, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh grapefruit juice
2 tbsp. (30 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. (15 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp. (15 mL) shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard
Pinch each salt and pepper, or to taste
6 tbsp. (90 mL) extra virgin olive oil

Cook green beans in a small pan of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Reserve.

Lightly toast almonds in a small frying pan over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

Remove peel and pith from grapefruit. Using your hands, separate citrus segments from membrane over a small bowl to catch the juice needed for vinaigrette.

Prepare vinaigrette by puréeing first eight ingredients together in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil; mix until emulsified.

In a large bowl, combine green beans, almonds and grapefruit with remaining salad ingredients; toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Tip: You can use any leftover vinaigrette to dress a popular springtime treat-asparagus.

Read more in Food & Entertaining and Garden to Table

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