For thousands of years, spices have been sought after for their flavor, medicinal qualities, status, and novelty. And while spices no longer inspire the kind of exploration, trade, and wars they did in the 15th Century, researchers are now finding a different kind of value in these substances. Many spices and herbs, from cinnamon to oregano, cumin to turmeric, have high nutritional value and pack an antioxidant punch.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Ophelia dispenses some crazy wisdom in the scene when she hands out flowers and herbs: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” Miss O might’ve been referring to one of rosemary’s properties, known since ancient times—its ability to improve memory. Sprigs of rosemary were used as a symbol of remembrance and fidelity at weddings and war memorials. Also funerals. Shakespeare may be giving us a hint that Miss O will soon exit stage left to go sleep with the fishes.
Parsley is high in vitamins A, C, and K, and abundant in chlorophyll, which provides its well-known breath-freshening power.
After discarding the stems, chop fresh parsley and use in salads, soups, pastas, egg dishes, veggie roasts, and more.
Store for up to a week in a plastic bag in the fridge with stems wrapped in a damp paper towel.
Here's what regional farms will be harvesting this month, from The FruitGuys produce buyers:
Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil), the pillars of French cooking. Tarragon is one of the main flavoring ingredients of Béarnaise and other creamy sauces. Its flavor is rich and bittersweet, with hints of licorice and mint.
By Heidi Lewis
Dateline, Oxford Lecture Hall; Stephen Hawking presenting:
“Quantum theory introduces a new idea, that of imaginary time. One can picture it in the following way. One can think of ordinary, real time as a horizontal line. On the left, one has the past, and on the right, the future. But there’s another kind of time in the vertical direction. This is called imaginary time because it’s not the kind of time we normally experience. But in a sense, it is just as real, as what we call real time.”
Adapted from epicurious.com, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 bunch basil, minced (or substitute parsley, dill, or cilantro)
2 large shallots, spring onions, or 1/2 red onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
Adapted from www.chow.com
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons brined capers, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium shallot, minced
3 cups broccoli, stems removed and chopped into small florets
Salt and pepper
Adapted from www.chow.com
2–3 finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2–3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/4 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup parmesan cheese