Monday, October 19, 2020

Cooking with Herbs of the Mediterranean Region

 We recently hosted a special cooking demonstration and tasting session that featured the herbs of the Mediterranean region. We were pleased to welcome Debbie Hartman of Thyme with Debbie as the instructor and culinary wizard for this program. With Debbie out front in the tea room, and her husband George coordinating things in the kitchen, it was a working team that provided an enjoyable evening for our guests.

The first course featured Greek Oregano, with flavor descriptors such as peppery and spicy. Oregano can be added to summer veggies, pasta, pizza, cheese and cream sauces, chili and Mexican foods for example. Debbie shared this beautiful appetizer plate that featured Mediterranean Herbed Olives (notice the rosemary skewered olive!), along side a potato appetizer, and a herbal goat cheese spread served with crackers and cucumber slices. The goat cheese was garnished with freshly zested lemon and a few oregano leaves to nibble.
The discussion continued onto Rosemary, which grows with abundance into a showy bush in the Mediterranean region. Described as piney, pungent, and spicy, Rosemary adds well to meats, poultry, veggies such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, along with fresh fruits and baked goods. Here Debbie prepared a lovely Orange Marmalade with Rosemary served alongside American Fruit Bread. The fruit bread was moist and tasty, and included cranberries, raisins, dates, nuts and of course, rosemary.

Thyme was featured in this fabulous casserole; Creamy Mushroom Gravy Scalloped Potatoes. Thyme flavors can range from pungent to spicy, fruity and lemony. It holds well in soups, stews, vegetables, baked goods and cream and cheese sauces. Debbie considers it a multi-purpose herb that works with everything! "Salt, pepper and thyme."

Dessert featured Louisa's Cake, a lovely lemon ricotta cake and Roasted Applesauce with Sage. Sage is a dry earthy flavor, also considered savory, spicy, and perhaps astringent. It blended well with the delicious variety of apples in the applesauce.
We look forward to welcoming Debbie and her culinary talents to our team of presenters for the upcoming new year. Flat breads in March and Grain Bowls in May are a few specialty classes to look forward to when our schedule is updated! Thanks, Debbie. We enjoyed your easy style of presentation, the flavorful combination of delicious Mediterranean herbs, and the abundance of sharing hints and tips regarding using seasonal foods and culinary herbs.

1 comment:

Marilyn Miller said...

This would have been a fun presentation to attend. The food all sounds delicious. I do love using thyme a lot and always sad when I can't find any left in the garden. Rosemary is prolific in my garden and I love the skewer ides too.