Makin’ Herbs with Menu Monday

May 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Rob Gardner

I lived three fortunate years in New Orleans.  Down there, you don’t go food shopping.  You go makin’ groceries.  Me, I’m not growing herbs now, I’m makin’ herbs.  See this Menu Monday, instead of telling you what came in my CSA box, what I picked up at Cassie’s Green Grocer, what got handed to me at Green Fest (thank you very much Robin), I get to say that this Gardner is finally a gardener.  We have not planted tomatoes or anything, but we have a veritable jungle of herbs greening up our front entrance.  So, menus this week, they can have plenty of parsley, a good amount of thyme, basil and chives, plus rosemary from not one, not two, but three separate rosemary plants.  And if my legendary brown thumb holds off a bit, maybe some cilantro.  How shall we make use?

Hebrew school ended last week releasing our Wednesdays, but now we have dog-training Mondays to wreck havoc on dinner.  Help me encourage the Local Mom to make asparagus risotto tonight.  I bet the thyme would go fine with that.  The risotto  also seems like the kind of thing the kids can eat while we are getting Molly to heel, stay, sit, come and don’t sniff the other dogs; then, we can eat it when we return home.

Tuesday should be leftover brisket night.  About six inches, mostly from the fatty, I mean flavor end, of the non-local brisket I smoked on Friday.  The sides from Friday, savoy slaw and asparagus with scallion dressing are gone.  Green salad with brisket seems hardly Lockhart, but that’s what we have now.  How ’bout some Green Goddess dressing with that, using the chives (as well as some tarragon in the fridge). 

The Texans at least would have been happy with the beans my wife made. Oddly, one daughter found the beans, greased up with Faith’s Farm bacon to be too, well, porky.  I wonder what she’ll think if I make spinach salad with the remaining bacon?  Or should we use the bacon for the bunches and bunches of greens we have.  We still have collards from a few weeks ago CSA; last week’s CSA had 2 bunches of kale too.  What would show herbs best?

Did I say that Wednesday was free?  Well not for Dad.  He’ll be supping on nose-to-tail food to support Swan Creek Farm at Goose Island.  Maybe Mom will make the kids pesto with all the basil we have.

Things we need to fit in with the herbs: a head of red cabbage–I like to combine red cabbage with parsley for yet another slaw; there’s tons of carrots, which also have a strong affinity for parsley. 

I bet whatever meat we take out for Friday night dinner, it will go with rosemary.  And I bet there’ll be a good chance to cilantro will find a place in a salsa verde here.

Fruitwise, the seasons first rhubarb went into a bread pudding.  For lunches it’s still bananas and apples.  I could not pull the trigger on the grape idea because the grapes I saw were from Chile.  No herb use here.

I look forward to my efforts to live up to my name, growing and cooking with herbs.  I have a lot to work with.

What’s on your menu this week?