For Mama

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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Celebrating National Herb Week can be carried on through Sunday for Mother's Day!

Receiving potted herb plants is a perfect present for the mother or mother-in-law, who loves to cook. This is one of those gifts that keeps giving too. Besides inspiring new spring recipes from Mom's kitchen, it's also a convenient way for her to enjoy and have easy access to the fresh earthly scents of rosemary, basil, oregano or thyme on her countertop or window sill. And this gift may give back to you in a few weeks when that first batch of pesto is plated up.

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 It is a good idea to purchase glazed pots, so the herb plants won’t dry out so quickly. Unfinished terracotta pots soak up the moisture from the soil like a sponge. This added step will prevent frequent watering. And planting potted herbs today, will offer you tasty additions to your dishes in a couple weeks!

George Hirsch Herbs with 5 dishes

Enjoy a flavorful Green Goddess Dressing prepared with fresh herbs.

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Vision of Spring

With spring now upon us it's the perfect time to plan the early spring herb garden.

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PLANNING YOUR OUTDOOR HERB GARDEN

Nothing compares to the flavor of fresh herbs in cooking. Now is the time to plan your fresh herb garden for an abundance of flavorful herbs at your fingertips. But before you start digging, there's a little bit of planning to take into consideration.  

First consider the amount of time you have to spend and tend to your garden. If you're a weekend gardener, then a little patch of kitchen herbs is a great start, you can always increase the size of your garden next year. But if you're an avid gardener, go crazy! Add more exotic herbs and fragrant ones such as lemon verbena, lemon grass, pineapple sage and Thai basil. 

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Find a good location for your garden. Most herbs need five or six hours of sunlight and a soil slightly on the dryer side. Plant close enough to your back door for when you're running from the kitchen to the garden.

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Lay out your garden on paper. Think about style. Do you like a formal orderly appearance to your garden, or a more natural style? Keep in mind when planning to include walking paths so you can reach to weed and harvest your herbs and keep your feet dry when the ground is wet.  

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What to plant?  If you intend to cook with the herbs make a list of the ones you use most common.  If you like fragrant herbs or colorful herbs, ask your local garden shop what grows well in your area. And, herbs like a fairly neutral or slightly alkaline soil. If you know your soil is acid, add some lime when preparing your soil. 

When planting, try to keep the annuals and perennials separate so when the end of the season comes you won't disturb the roots of the perennials when you pull out annuals. Try to keep taller plants to the back of the border or in the center of your bed and smaller ones near the edges to form borders.  

Enjoy my Green Goddess aka. Sauce Au Vert Recipe with fresh spring chive and parsley.

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Frittata as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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A frittata is like a quiche, but it doesn't have a crust. Mix in some chopped prosciutto, shredded cheese, or precooked seafood or chicken, and it becomes a tasty brunch dish, appetizer or starter. or, add fresh herbs for a veggie morning start.

George Hirsch Lifestyle Fritata

Fresh Herb Frittata

Makes six servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 Tablespoon olive oil

10 eggs, well beaten

2 Tablespoons water, optional  

1/4 cup pancetta 

4-6 each baby Yukon potatoes 

1 shallot or 1 Tablespoon sweet onion 

1 green onion 

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, sliced into small pieces  

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

fresh ground black pepper

Pre heat a large oven proof sauté pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat eggs with water, basil, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, nutmeg, and pepper. 

Add olive oil to sauté pan, cook pancetta until slightly tender. Add shallot and potatoes cook until potatoes are tender. 

Add pepper and hot sauce to eggs. Pour eggs over the filling and place the pan over medium heat. Stir egg mixture 2-3 times or just enough to mix eggs and potatoes. When the eggs begin to set, lower the heat and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, top with fresh mozzarella and green onion. 

Cover or place pan in oven for additional 1-2 minutes or until firm yet moist. 

Top with fresh basil. Serve warm or room temperature.

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