It’s widely know that the Drummond family lives on and runs a cattle ranch, but like any good country girl, Ree also loves to grow herbs and veggies.
And this Herbalicious episode is all about fresh herbs. Ree’s herb garden is producing a bumper crop and while it’s a bit past the fresh herb season for many of us, most markets boast a selection of fresh herbs all year round. Ree is spotlighting a few common herbs, but in some unexpected ways.
First up is one of my personal favorites, rosemary. Typically rosemary is thought of as savory herb, but it works beautifully in both baked goods and drinks. Ree is infusing her favorite scones with some lemon and rosemary goodness. The base of the scones starts with flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Those ingredients get sifted together before she cuts in two sticks of cold butter. In a second bowl, Ree mixes together cream, one egg, lemon zest and a bunch of minced fresh rosemary. The cream mixture gets gently incorporated into the dry ingredients until a thick dough forms. The dough gets rolled out and cut into triangles and transferred to a baking sheet to bake.
Once the scones are baked, Ree coats them with a glaze made from powdered sugar, whole milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and a bit more minced rosemary. This lemon rosemary scone recipe looks absolutely fabulous.
Next, Ree is raiding her thyme patch in preparation for a big batch of French Onion Soup. If you’ve ever made a French Onion Soup recipe, then you know that it can be a time consuming process. Letting the onions cook down until they are perfectly caramelized is a step that you don’t want to rush. Ree starts her soup with four large sliced yellow onions cooked in butter until translucent.
After the onions are soft, she transfers her large pot to the oven to allow the onions to roast until they are deep in both color and flavor. This step takes about one hour. When the onions are finished, the pot gets placed on the stove top and Ree adds a bit of white wine. After it begins to simmer, Ree adds chicken and beef broth as well as minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and a generous amount of chopped fresh thyme.
The soup simmers for another 45 minutes until the flavors are fully blended and decadent.
Now, the part of French Onion Soup that positively brings me to my knees is the toast and broiled cheese on top. Ree’s method does not disappoint. She tops individual soup crocks filled with soup with two pieces of small toast and an incredibly thick piece of Gruyere cheese. The cheese gets golden brown and bubbly under the broiler and I’m completely smitten. This is a spectacular bowl of comfort food.
Basil is another popular herb and is Ree’s favorite. Today she is making a fresh and hearty Panzanella salad which is full of fresh vegetables and chunks of crusty bread. Because the base of this salad is the crusty bread, Ree chops up a loaf of nice hearty bread, tosses the cubes with olive oil and bakes them in a low oven for a bit until they are nice and crunchy.
To the bread, Ree adds chopped tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. The dressing is made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Ree chops a few handfuls of basil leaves into lovely ribbons and the salad gets tossed all together. A few shavings of parmesan cheese finish off this fresh and beautiful salad. The fresh basil really pops in this summery salad.
If you’ve ever grown mint in your garden, you know that it has a tendency to take over. And by ‘take over’ I mean completely over run your entire garden. But, if you have recipes and ideas to use the mint in, then it wouldn’t seem like such a nuisance. Ree is using her huge patch of mint to make homemade Raita with Salted Naan Wedges.
The Raita recipe is a fresh tasting, cool dip made with shredded cucumber, chopped mint, Greek yogurt, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ree covers the dip and chills it for a few hours before serving it with baked, salted Naan wedges. The combination of mint and cucumber is so refreshing – I love adding bits of both to glasses of ice water in the summer.
This episode was a great snapshot of ways to incorporate fresh herbs into all of your recipes. Ree covers sweet, hearty and fresh recipes that have me itching to jump into the kitchen and get cooking. I’m positive that her French Onion soup recipe will be hitting my table within the week. Now if I just had an herb-infused drink recipe, I’d be all set!
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