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Cheese Wafers with Basil

basilcrackers1½ lb extra sharp cheddar, finely shredded
½ lb butter
2 ½ cups unbleached flour
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil (sweet, purple or cinnamon basil)

  1. Cream butter and cheese until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and flour. Mix well. Roll thin and cut in any desired shape. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.


Herbal Cream Cheese

herbcreamcheeseMix softened cream cheese with chopped shallots or chives, salt and pepper, then add Herbs de Provence, Culinary Lavender or chopped fresh herbs of your choice. Mix well. Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes and serve with water crackers or French bread.

Fresh Herb Butter

herbbutter1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
4 tsps each chopped parsley, basil (any variety), oregano, thyme
salt & pepper

  1. Combine 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened), herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Transfer to a piece of waxed or parchment paper and roll into a log or place in a small bowl and refrigerate until firm.
  2. Slice and serve on breads, pasta, fish & vegetables.
Fresh Salsa

freshsalsa w

2 medium roma tomatoes – chopped
½ medium white onion (can substitute purple onion) – chopped
½ yellow pepper – chopped
1 Jalapeno – chopped (adjust to taste)
1 tbls herbal vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic
3 tbls fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley or Vietnamese coriander)
1 tbls fresh basil (can substitute lemon or lime basil)
salt & pepper

  1. Put all ingredients in blender and pulse several times. Serve with corn chips.
Basic Pesto

pesto2 cups fresh bail leaves
3 large garlic cloves
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tbls chopped Italian parsley
2 tbls chopped Greek oregano leaves
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

  1. Combine herbs, garlic, cheese and nuts in food processor or blender. Process until finely ground. With machine running, slowly add olive oil. Let stand five minutes before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for one week. Serve with fresh pasta.

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