Friday, April 1, 2011

Star Ingredient: Herbs

Periodically, I'll be dedicating my blog space to a new series entitled, "Star Ingredient".  In this series, I'll take a key, or star, ingredient and feature it in different ways.  And to kick off our new series, I'm starting with the star ingredient, herbs. 

Enough can't be said about herbs.  The way they impart life and flavor and freshness and beauty to  dishes literally takes food to another level.  They're the perfect finish for most savory courses and even shine brightly in desserts and drinks.  I can't imagine my kitchen--or my cooking--without them.  Simply put, I love herbs!  And I hope you'll have a greater appreciation for them, too, as you dive into the featured recipes for Herbed-Baked Eggs and Tuna Pitas with Herbs.

Happy Eating!

Herbed-Baked Eggs

Herbed-Baked Eggs
Serves 4
If you're looking to switch up your breakfast or brunch eggs course, this recipe is the ticket!  Easy, yet elegant, it packs superb flavor with a medley of herbs, garlic, cheese and more!

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley and Parmesan cheese and set aside.  Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 4 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking in these) without breaking the yolks.  (Note: It's important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place four individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet.  Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked.  (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.)  The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.  Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot.
Recipe by Ina Garten

Tuna with Dill and Herbed Pita
 Tuna Pitas with Herbs
Serves 1
Dill wakes up this tuna recipe and takes it from ordinary to extraordinary, while the dried oregano does similar duty on the pita.

One 5 oz. can of tuna
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise 
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill leaves
Dried oregano
Olive oil
Mixed greens

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine together tuna, mustard, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, sugar, vinegar and dill in a bowl.  Set aside.

Cut pita bread in half and season each half with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and oregano.  Bake in preheated oven for 5-6 minutes.

Fill baked pita pockets with mixed greens and tuna.  Serve and enjoy!


  1. AnonymousJune 30, 2012

    I like the look of those eggs. I usually just opt for a splattering of ketchup atop mine, but I'll have to up it to herbs and try that.

  2. AnonymousJune 30, 2012

    I like the look of those eggs. I usually just opt for a splattering of ketchup atop mine, but I'll have to up it to herbs and try that.


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