Herbs & Spices: The Transformers – Ginger

Since ancient times herbs and spices have played important roles. Wars have been waged and the New World discovered in their pursuit. They transform and glamorize every day foods into a new experience for the palate. Ordinary becomes “wow”… children actually eat their vegetables (what a concept!) and hors d’euvres become an exploration of taste and style.  Each recipe is followed by some growing and other interesting tid bits of information for the herb/spice that was used. Bon appetite!

GINGER develops from a bulbous root, and in good conditions will grow to three feet. It produces narrow leaves about an inch wide and up to 12 inches long. Their flower is dense, three-inch cone shaped spikes that are yellow with purple lips — not unlike that of an Iris. Although it’s a tropical plant, some gardeners have had success growing ginger in portable containers. When the weather grows cool, bring the container indoors to a window with full sun. The growing outcome isn’t guaranteed but it’s fun to try. Buy some fresh looking roots from the market. Plant them at an angle with the sprout ends up, in a pot filled with dryish, sandy soil. Soak the soil with warm water and maintain that moisture as the plant develops. Place in a window with full sun. Remember, humid means happy. If you are fortunate, within 10 days, bamboo-like stems and leaves will emerge. In six to nine months the roots will have substantially matured enough for you to dig some up, harvest what you need and then replant what’s left. Good luck!

BABY CARROTS WITH GINGER BUTTER

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Now that the 2nd harvest is coming in, here’s a great way to serve your carrots. This combination of fragrant ginger root and sweet honey makes this tuber splendiferous!

  • 2 tablespoons butter (real)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root (diameter of a quarter), peeled, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds baby carrots, steamed al dente
  • 2 tablespoons golden honey
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large, heavy saucepan, over a medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the ginger. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the steamed carrots and toss. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 more minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the honey and toss until the carrots are coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes until the butter-ginger sauce thickens. Serves 4.

PARSLEY: HERBED PORTOBELLO PATE

CILANTRO – AVOCADO SALSA with BALSAMIC VINEGAR

What you have in your mind?