Well, spring has finally sprung! The rain and sun have brought an abundance of fresh produce and fruit to the markets. But often forgotten in the mix are the great herbs that our amazing Central Texas farmers produce. It’s the perfect addition to your next family picnic! If you were one of the fortunate few who attended SFC's Grow Local Growing Herbs class or SFC's The Happy Kitchen Savor the Flavor: Cooking with Herbs you already know how great herbs are. Read on for a few quick things to look for at the market to take your picnic to the next level.
You can find some of your favorite herbs at market now like basil, cilantro, and parsley, which can be used to make various spreads for sandwiches or dips. Use basil to make a creamy pesto to top off you pasta salad; spread on bread or as part of a tossed caprese salad over greens from a farmer like Fruitful Hill Farms. Salsa is an easy choice for cilantro. Try roasting your vegetables over an open flame to add a smoky flavor. Parsley is always a great ingredient in a potato salad or tabouli, but have you ever tried a traditional Argentinian chimichuri sauce? It is great on any grilled meats as a marinade or sauce. These simple spreads can be stored in a masons jar in your basket.
You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional herbs because there are so many more to explore! Have you ever used fennel fronds? Try making coleslaw with kolrabi from Flintrock Hill Farm, jicama, shaved fennel bulb and chopped fronds, tossed with a little rice vinegar, salt and pepper as a tasty twist on a great picnic mainstay. Explore the market and ask your farmer what herbs they would recommend and how they would use it for your next family outing.
Check out our Edible Herb Garden Pinterest board for even more recipe inspiration. See you at the markets!