2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and dried (Progresso brand preferred)
½ to 1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic (mashed/minced)
lemon juice (to taste)
pinch of black pepper
olive oil
olive oil
1 small chopped plum tomato
1 scallion chopped
Kalamata olives – approx. 8

Place the chickpeas in a food processor and add approximately ½ cup olive oil. 
Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (start with 1 T), and garlic.
Mix until chickpeas are smooth. You may have to add more olive oil.
Adjust seasoning regarding salt and lemon juice – should have a little bite.
More garlic may be added, if desired. For the “author” there is no such thing as too much garlic!
Refrigerate hummus in a covered container.
Serve chilled, on ...

Fresh Herb Mini Tartlet


3 eggs

1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (basil and chives)
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 dash ground red pepper
1 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the eggs, heavy cream, herbs, shallots, black pepper, and red pepper in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk. Stir in the cheese. 
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut into 36 (2-inch squares). Press the pastry squares into 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon egg mixture into each muffin-pan cup.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is set and the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries ...

Herbed Cheddar Cheese Log


2 (8-ounce) blocks sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups chopped walnuts
Assorted cracker or apple slices

In a large bowl, beat cheddar cheese and cream cheese at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Add basil, tarragon, thyme, and garlic, beating until combined. Shape mixture into an 80ince log. Roll in walnuts to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with assorted cracker and apple slices.

Chimichurri Sauce


bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, thick stems trimmed
bunch of fresh cilantro leaves and stems
leaves from 2 to 3 stems of fresh oregano
4 green onions, whites and a little green, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 or more jalapeno or other hot pepper, minced, OR red pepper flakes, to taste
1 to 1½ cups (237 to 355 mil) extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup (119 mil) red wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Put the parsley, oregano, garlic, and about ¼ cup (59 mil) of the olive oil into the food processor and pulse until the leaves are coarsely ground.
Add the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and pulse. Continue to pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. The sauce should have a fair amount of liquid, though some people prefer it to be a little ...

Green Goddess Dressing


½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 anchovy fillets
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
¼ chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a blender or food processor, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, green onion, garlic, vinegar, tarragon, sugar and Worcestershire sauce and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving. It will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

Quinoa Bacon Almonds Herbs


4 servings

½ c slivered almonds
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ¼ -inch dice
1 small shallot, minced
1 c quinoa, rinsed
2 c chicken stock 
1 sage sprig 
1 Tbsp minced chives
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground white pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, four minutes; let cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat has rendered, about two minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring a few times, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute.Add the quinoa, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the stock has been absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and l ...

Herbed Quinoa


Serves 6

1 ½ c quinoa (½ lb)
2 ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ c thinly sliced scallion greens
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Rinse quinoa in five changes of water in a bowl, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large fine sieve after each rinse).
Cook quinoa in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 10 minutes. Drain in sieve and rinse under cold water.
Set sieve with quinoa over saucepan filled with 1 ½ inches boiling water (sieve should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid until fluffy and dry, 10-12 minutes. (Check water level in pan occasionally, adding water if necessary.) (SH: caution: from personal experience, do not use a sieve that has a plastic handle!)
Toss quinoa with oil and salt and pepper to taste in a lar ...

Yogurt Cheese with Za 'atar and Olives


1 quart goat's-milk yogurt
Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Za'atat herb blend
24 Kalamata olives
1 bunch small radishes, trimmed
Pita bread, cut into wedges, warmed

Line a sieve with cheesecloth. If the cheesecloth is loosely woven (most supermarket brands are), use triple thickness. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, then gather the edges of the cheesecloth and tie to become a bag. Hang the bag over the sink or over a bowl to catch the drippings. Let drain for 8 hours.
Turn the soft, creamy cheese out onto a platter. Season the surface with salt to taste, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with za'atar. Surround the cheese with the olives and radishes. Serve with the warm pita bread wedges.

Please note: Za'atar, a middle Eastern herb frequently sprinkled on lubneh, varies fr ...

Herby Cheese Baked Eggs


Vary the soft cheese in these eggs – there are so many pepper-and-herb-flavored chevres in the market now. As these eggs are baked in individual ramekins, you can serve breakfast or brunch to a crowd and have all the eggs ready at the same time.

1 tsp unsalted butter
3 tsp heavy or whipping cream
1 egg
1 tsp herbed chevre or Boursin cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chervil leaves or chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Place the butter and 2 tsp of the cream in a ¾ cup ramekin. Carefully break the egg in the center. Dot the egg with the cheese, and spoon the remaining 1 tsp cream over the yolk. Season with pepper.
3. Place the ramekin in a small baking dish, and fill it with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekin. Bake until th ...

Mixed Herbal Crackers


1 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped thyme
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 Tbsp cold butter
¼ cup sour cream
Salt for sprinkling

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Add herbs and mix well. Stir in sour cream and mix until the dough comes together. Divide in half and roll each piece into a sheet 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and press lightly. Cut into 2 ½ -inch squares using a fluted edge cutter.
Place on a baking sheet and pierce each cracker with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees F until just brown and firm. (about 26 minutes).
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Yields 24 2 ½ inch square crackers.