Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

In honor of my graduation this past summer, my uncle sent me a lovely window box full of herbs. It is a testament to the nursery's love of Simon and Garfunkel that the box contains 4 types of herbs. Yup. I got parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It is also a testament to my uncle's faith in me that he sent me a box of herbs in the first place. After all, I don't have the best track record. In the past four years I have killed at least three basil plants, two thyme plants and a sage plant. The only herbs of mine that seem to thrive are my mint (impossible to kill) and lavender (also impossible to kill?).
Every year, I think, this is the year. This is the year I'm going to be self-sufficient and cool and pretend I have a garden and plant all sorts of cool things in buckets and window boxes. Sometimes I even do. I've planted tomatoes and carrots and even rocket. And I've killed 'em all.
So it is with great joy that I say this. It has been almost half a year.  The rosemary is still alive. The parsley is hanging in there. The thyme, well, not so much. And the sage? The sage is absolutely thriving- which is putting me in a bit of a bind. Because really, how much sage can you use? Don't get me wrong. I love sage. I love it in chicken; fried crispy over pasta; in ginger-ale. It is one of my favorite herbs. But it also not the type of thing that I use in abundance. Too much sage is too much.

Unless, of course, you make cookies.

What, you say. Sage in your cookies? And I say, Yes. Sage in your cookies. And  by cookies I mean shortbread and it is the easiest thing in the world and delicious. Even my sister, who is a notorious hater of sage, loved this shortbread. It is rich and buttery and herby and sweet. And even if you cannot stand the notion of sage. That's ok. You can use something else. Make these. You will inspire spontaneous singing- possibly of Simon and Garfunkel. You will impress your friends and family. (And laugh up your sleeve because really. Two minutes. That's all the work these babies need). You will eat cookies.

Simon and Garfunkel Shortbread
Adapted, (only a little bit) from Merrill on Food52.com

Notes: I have a feeling these would do well gussied up with some added citrus zest (lemon? orange?) and even a drizzle of dark chocolate. Haven't tried it yet, but if any of y'all want to, go ahead and let me about the results.

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped hearty herbs (I used sage and a bit of lavender, but rosemary and thyme are good too)
1 stick (113 g) butter, at room temp.

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2) In a bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gently rub the herbs into the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the mixture to the bowl with the flour.

3) Add the butter to the bowl in small chunks. Using a fork, incorporate the butter until you get a soft dough. Pat the dough into a 9-inch baking dish. Prick all over with a fork and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

4) Bake for 20-30 minutes, until it is golden. Cut into squares while still warm. Let cool. Eat daintily.

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