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Fresh herbs offer a healthy and delicious way to spice up any meal, but growing and cooking with these delectable plants are endeavors fraught with uncertainty. What herbs will grow year-round on my kitchen windowsill? What foods complement rosemary? Which part of a lemongrass plant has the best flavor? Can I really eat the geraniums growing in my flower bed? This indispensable guide from The Herb Society of America takes the guesswork out of using herbs in the garden and in the kitchen by providing detailed information for cultivating a wide variety of herbs, along with easy-to-follow recipes that will surely impress even the most discerning palate.
Ranging from Alliums (onions, chives, and garlic) to Zingiber (ginger), the volume's first section provides horticultural information for each of the sixty-three herbs found in the National Herb Garden's Culinary Garden, including common and botanical names, family, place of origin, hardiness, and general light and soil requirements. Botanical sketches accompany many of the entries. Each entry also includes a short history of the herb, gardening basics, and suggestions for using the herb in your kitchen. Culinary herbs without Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Status are included in a separate section, with an explanation of their history and ornamental value. An informative introduction to this section compares several different definitions of the word herb, explains the advantages of fresh over dried herbs, describes the proper storage and use of spices, and suggests the best timing and methods for harvesting herbs.
In the second part of the book, HSA members offer classic and creative recipes for more than two hundred dishes incorporating a variety of herbs. Learn how to use the aromatic and flavorful herbs in your garden to enhance stews and casseroles, create dips and pestos, and add a new dimension to your favorite liqueurs. Among the mouth-watering recipes featured are Lemon Basil Tea Bread, Chicken Linguine with Fennel and Tarragon, Five-Herb Pasta Salad, and Rosemary Fizz.
The concluding section of the book contains a fascinating personal tour of the two-and-one-half-acre National Herb Garden, which lies in the heart of Washington, D.C., at the center of the United States National Arboretum, and of its various themed areas, including the Knot Garden, the Antique and Heritage Rose Garden, the Dye Garden, the Colonial Garden, the Native American Garden, the Beverage Garden, the Medicinal Garden, and many others. Complete plant lists accompany the description of each garden.
Green thumbs and gourmets alike will find inspiration in these pages to look at herbs in new ways -- perhaps to see beyond their cupboards and into their own yards for ways to liven up their meals -- and will gain the knowledge and confidence to grow and use herbs effectively. More than a gardening book, more than a cookbook, The Herb Society of America's Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herbs will prove to be an indispensable companion for all herb lovers.
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