Winter is Coming… Time to Put That Herb Garden to Use Before its Too Late – Part 2
Time is running out.
Has the weatherman already dropped hints that the first big freeze is right around the corner? If not, he soon will.
The coming cold brings some wonderful seasonal favorites, like hearty stews, roasted birds, and spiced cider… But it also means death to all your hard work in the garden.
You’re not alone in your heartbreak. But you can minimize the emotional damage by using up all your precious herbs before their time. Putting them to use in one last hoorah! is an excellent way to transition into autumn with appreciation instead of disdain.
If you missed my first post, containing the fresh herb pesto click here. Here I’ll give you recipes for the remaining herbs in your garden. Let’s harvest those lovelies and get to cooking!
Put your excess oregano to good use with this chicken marinade. The fresh herb flavor with savory roasted poultry is a great dish to serve when the weather starts to transition from warm to cool.
Fresh oregano is awesome in salad dressings and soups, but it also makes for an excellent marinade. This simple oregano recipe makes otherwise boring roasted chicken something special.
Roasted Chicken in Oregano Marinade
- 1 chicken (whole or pieces)
- 1 cup oregano, chopped
- 2 lemons, zested then juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Combine the ingredients and your chicken inside a large freezer bag. Toss to coat the bird evenly then let sit in the fridge for an hour.
- Heat your oven to 400F.
- Put the chicken in a roasting pan and pour the excess liquid over the top.
- For a whole chicken, cook for an hour.
- For pieces, cook for 20 minutes. Flip and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with a scrumptious side dish. I recommend creamy mashed potatoes because they soak up the chicken’s savory juices. Another good option is roasted red potatoes and steamed green beans.
Last, but not least, its time for thyme. Your fresh thyme will come together with other fresh ingredients to create a delightful salad dressing that pairs with a wide variety of light salads.
Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette Dressing
Use this fresh vinaigrette in any salad, especially lighter salads that features fresh fruits, quality cheeses, and crunchy nuts.
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested then juiced
- 2 tsp. thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. mint, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. honey
- ¼ tsp. garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Dash of pepper
- Mix all ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours. Once chilled, toss with your favorite green salad.
- My preference is with arugula, pecans, pears and goat cheese. It’s great with any fresh fruit, such as mango and or kiwi.
Time to Get Cooking
Seeing your plants die off may seem like a waste, but they don’t all have to be doomed to a seasonal grave.
The secret to feeling accomplished with your gardening is to put your plants to use. Herbs are especially gratifying since you can eat them!
Go out today and trim down one herb down to its stem. Choose the recipe from this list or find another good one online, and use every last leaf you harvested. It’s okay if you make so much that you have leftovers – leftover food can be stored, but unused herbs will perish.
Feel good about your gardening. Feel good about your cooking. Go serve up those savory plants and look forward to doing it all over again next year.
Written by Brent Mercer for Live to Eat.
Brent is a food and beverage marketer. He combined his professional marketing experience with his love of culinary arts to help businesses in the food and beverage industry grow their brands. Come meet him at www.crunchycopy.com