Herb Salt

Mother Nature teased me the last few weeks with her unseasonably warm weather. I was almost caught off-guard as I let my woody herbs soak up the last rays of warm above-freezing weather. Thus I found myself in the garden one afternoon late last week with raw hands and a bagful of sage and rosemary leaves as the sun was setting and the snow starting to swirl.

Inspired by the delicious Provencal Salt I’ve been using all summer (purchased from the local Herb Lyceum stand at the farmer’s market) I decided to dry the sage in my dehydrator (just a few hours did it as the leaves already had a low water content) and then process them until finely crumbled. I then mixed salt and sage at a ratio of 3:1. I packaged some up in small recycled glass jars for holiday presents and will be leaving a bit for myself to toss with the last of my beets or on cauliflower, pork chops or in a beef stew.

Mint-Pea Tendril Pesto with Local Lamb Chops

Last night was my first foray into lamb chops. I do like lamb, but I have the opportunity to eat it so infrequently. Well, with my meat share, I have four lamb chops waiting to be consumed, so I thought, no time like the present. As promised in the last post, I used more pea tendrils (all of the stalk – not just the most tender ends) and put in a food processor with a bunch of mint (leftover from the garden – mint is pretty hardy) and a small clove of garlic. I turned on the processor and streamed in olive oil, a few dashes of salt and a few twists of pepper.

For the chops, I seasoned with chopped rosemary (also some of the last holdovers from the garden – this is a woody herb that lasts until the hard frosts), salt, pepper and olive oil. I let that sit for an hour or so, and then cooked it on a hot grill pan for about 5 – 6 minutes on the first side, and another 4 on the other. I served this with the pesto on top – WOW! Chestnur farms raised easily the best tasting lamb chop I’ve ever had – and this is despite the slight marbled fattiness.

I served this with butternut squash risotto and carmelized onion and steamed radicchio. All courtesy of the last week of the farm share. It’s almost November and local still has never tasted so good.