Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Herb of the Year

Last night was my Herb Society meeting, this year we will be studying the different types of Artemisia.
I'll share with you a few things I learned while researching this plant.

Artemisia offers both striking foliage, gourmet flavor in the kitchen and a wonderful fragrance.
Silver Queen, Sweet Annie, and Mug wort are a few types used in dried wreaths and arrangements.
Sweet Annie is an annual  but if you plant it once, it always comes back somewhere in your garden -even years later. It is very fragrant. If you brush by it and the essential oil are released, it is like no other plant in your garden.

One of the best know Artemisia is French Tarragon. With a slightly sweet anise flavor, it is a must for gourmet cooks.
There is also a Russian variety which has coarser growth and a stronger flavor.  Artemisia is a plant which rarely produces seed. It is multiplied by cuttings or root division. All seeds marked Tarragon are the Russian form.

The herb goes well with chicken, pork, green beans and root vegetables. It is also useful to flavor herbal vinegars.
I made a pot of chicken vegetable soup for the members to try with tarragon.

We also had a white bean chili with fresh cilantro and salsa.

My friend from Mexico brought Mexican hot cocoa.

One member brought homemade herb bread.

Back home last weekend I made a new soup recipe. I used hot Italian turkey sausage. Taking it out of its casing and browning it with onion and garlic. Next adding chicken broth & diced potatoes, cooking until the potatoes were soft. At the end I added the chopped up kale and fresh mushrooms and cooked until the kale was soft. Don't overcook.

This is the most wonderful soup.

I also tried making kale chips. Washed and dried the kale, chopping it up into 1-2 inch pieces. sprinkle on olive oil, salt, pepper and I also used a little red pepper.

Bake in a 275 degree oven for 20 minutes, then mix around and bake another 20 minutes or so.
They turned out really good, crunchy then sort of melt in your mouth.

I had pumpkin left in the freezer from last fall so I also baked two pumpkin pies.


Anonymous said...

sounds like some pretty good food for the nice cold weather. Deb C

Peggy said...

Now I'm hungry! It all looks delicious -- your group is right on top of it beginning the year with a good program. So many artemisias, we'll need a whole year, won't we? ;)

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo