For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we have at least a few more months until farmer’s markets start filling up with locally-grown, full-of-flavour produce. But the first few sunny days of spring always seem to stir cravings for lighter, fresher meals after a winter’s worth of rich comfort food.
Adding fresh herbs to your dishes – either as a garnish or as ingredients – can help bridge the gap while we wait for vegetable gardens to come to life. They’ll provide the burst of flavour at an affordable price point.
If you tend to steer clear of fresh herbs on account of all that chopping, this microplane herb mill from Williams-Sonoma will substitute nicely for a sous chef. Fill the mill with herbs then let the stainless steel scissoring blades mince herbs with just a twist of your wrist. Best of all, clean up is a (fresh, spring) breeze since the blades can be tossed in the dishwasher. After all, you likely have other spring cleaning to get to.
+ Microplane Herb Mill from Williams-Sonoma, $19.99 USD
I love this idea from Josée Di Stasio, a very popular cookbook author, television host and chef in Quebec. She explained in the French edition of Chatelaine how to make your own frosted rosemary sprigs. You can use the frosted rosemary in your centerpiece or to decorate a serving plate.
Add a few drops of water to an egg white. Lightly whip it. Cover the rosemary sprig with the egg white mixture using your hands or a brush. Turn each sprig on a plate filled with sugar until it is fully covered. Let it dry on a cookie pan. To prolong their shelf life, put them on the fridge before usage.
More Recipes from Josée Di Stasio
You can find 5 recipes of savory holiday treats on the English Web site of Chatelaine. Lastly, if you are looking for a cookbook filled with recipes that you will do over and over, grab a copy of her A la Di Stasio cookbook. This is from that cookbook that I adapted my 2-Minute Smoked Salmon Mousse Recipe.
+ A la Di Stasio cookbook $18.77 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ photo: Louise Savoie for Chatelaine, Édition spéciale Décembre 2010
I love cleverly made 2 in 1 design products. I could not pass this one. Måns Salomonsen designed a brilliant one with Cocoon. Made of clay, it is a herb planter that cools down the shell the fruit bowl as the water evaporates. Did I mention that it is beautiful!
Sadly, the Web site of this Swedish designer lacks information on the product. There is no way to know if this is only a prototype, or if there is a way to buy it. Many design bloggers introduced Cocoon last week but no one mentioned if or where we can buy it.
I wish to thank publicly my friend Corinne who tipped me about this awesome space saver kitchen accessories.
+ Måns Salomonsen – photography by Martin Gustavsson