Herbed Butter

herbed-butterSummer is the season for fresh herbs and nothing kicks up dinner a notch like having some fresh herbed butter to slather on homemade baked goodies. Get ready to impress your guests with a loaf of homemade bread and herbed butter fresh from the garden – they are both so easy to make!

 

 

herbed-butter-2Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Your favorite herbs – my favorite combos are basil and garlic, chive and garlic, and dill and parsley
Whatever your favorite combinations are, my rule of thumb is 1 clove of garlic and 1 tbsp. minced herbs per stick of butter
Sea salt

 

herbed-butter-3Pulse herbs and garlic in food processor, add softened butter, and mix thoroughly (do no whip). Scoop herbed butter in wax paper, and roll into a log. Put in refrigerator for 1 hour to set, remove and slice into rounds. Spread onto freshly baked bread, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy!

Propagating Basil

Planted basil at 2 weeksFresh fruits, vegetables and herbs make everything taste better. I love summer, and nothing tastes more like summer than fresh basil. You can find packets of cut basil at most grocery stores, but there is nothing better than growing your own at home. Most of the time, a potted plant is less expensive than those little packets anyway, and with a little care you will have fresh basil all season. Did you know that many herbs, including basil, can be easily multiplied by taking cuttings and letting them root in water? I don’t know about you, but I can’t make all the pesto, pizza, sauces and salads I want with just one little plant.

Basil cuttings in water

Basil cuttings in water

So I make more.

The fastest and easiest  way to multiply basil plants is to buy a big healthy plant at the beginning of the growing season, and root additional plants from cuttings. Basil is one of the easiest plants to do this with. Here’s what to do –

 

 

 

Basil cuttings at 3 weeks

Basil cuttings at 3 weeks

 

Take 4 inch cuttings from basil plants, about an inch below secondary leaves. Remove lower leaves and stick in a glass of fresh water so the water covers the nodes where the lower leaves were removed. Place in a sunny window, and after a few days, you will see roots starting to form, looking like small white bumps. Change water every few days and after 3-4 weeks, you will have cuttings with strong root systems ready for planting.

 

Planted basil cuttings

Planted basil cuttings

That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier than that. I’ve also done this with Rosemary and Thyme with similar results. Hooray for free plants!

 

 

 

 

 

Planted basil at 2 weeks

Planted basil at 2 weeks