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Learn About... Komatsuna

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between! Continue reading “Learn About... Komatsuna” »

Learn About... Sunflower

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

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Learn About... Flax

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

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Learn About... Dill

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves

Dill certainly isn't a stranger to your kitchen. Heck, it's often a part of those herb starter packs. You've had it in dips, on pizzas, and with fish, but do you really know what this tart herb's all about?

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Dill, or Anethum graveolens, most likely originated in the Mediterranean area, and was used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Dating back as far as 5,000 years ago, it was used in Egypt as a "soothing medicine."

The herb was—and still is—used widely in Greek culture, often burned as a scented oil or used in wine.

Legend has it that later on in history, it quickly became a rare herb that was taxed or tithed in some cultures. Edward I of England, for example, didn't have enough money to fix the London Bridge, so he instead imposed a tax on dill!

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Dill is chock full of vitamin A, C, and manganese, and while it does have all these nutrients, it's known most for its vibrant flavor.

Most often, dill is paired with fish to bring out seafood's natural freshness.

It also goes well with artichokes, cabbage, cheese, eggplant, figs, olives, onions, pork, rice, sausage, and tomatoes, and pairs with a number of fellow herbs. It's used worldwide, to give you a better idea of just how versatile it is, from India to Hungary to China.

Ready to make some dill-inspired dishes? Try the recipes below!

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Smoked Salmon on Mustard-Chive and Dill Butter Toasts

via Food 52

Ingredients
10 ounces of the best quality smoked salmon in medium-thin slices (Norwegian or Wild Alaskan)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest
31/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped chives or green onions
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 thin, long French Baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Let cool.

Mix butter, lemon juice and zest, chives, mustard, dill, salt and pepper in a bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate. B

ring to room temperature before using. Spread a thick layer of the mustard- chive butter and place a slice of smoked salmon on top of each toast. Place on a platter or serving tray and serve.

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Lunch Recipe: Golden Quinoa Salad with Lemon, Dill & Avocado

via The Kitchn

Ingredients
1 cup golden quinoa
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 small red radishes, well-cleaned and tops removed
1/3 seedless English cucumber, about 1/4 pound, unpeeled
1 large shallot
2/3 lightly filled cup dill fronds, without stems
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke*
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for a vegan adaptation)
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, to serve

Method
Rinse the quinoa for 2 to 3 minutes in a fine mesh strainer, rubbing vigorously. Drain. Heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the cooked quinoa over it in an even layer. Let cool while preparing the vegetables.

Dice the radishes finely — about 1/4-inch to a side. Do the same with the cucumber. Finely dice the shallot. Finely chop the dill fronds. Toss with the quinoa in a large bowl.

Zest the lemon right into the bowl and fold in the zest. Juice the lemon half and whisk the juice together with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke until emulsified and thick. Toss this with the quinoa.

Fold in the almonds, chopped dates, and Parmesan. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top with chopped avocado.

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Dill is easy to grow, but its seeds are not very common. It's often grown indoors, in a pot placed in water, and takes as long as a month or more to grow. With an Urban Cultivator, though, it's as easy as one, two, three!

When using an Urban Cultivator, dill only takes about two to three weeks. As dill requires a lot of water to grow, the automatic watering function of the Urban Cultivator will save you a ton of time.

All you need to plant, and you'll be ready to harvest in no time!

What do you like to do with dill? Let us know in the comments section!

Learn About... Peppercress

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves

Ever had peppercress?

It's one of those greens that come up every now and then, and you think you might have had it, but you can't be sure entirely.

Peppercress, or Lepidium bonariense, is a peppery green also known as garden cress or peppergrass. Technically, it's classified as an herb, and it's similar in flavor to watercress, both of which are members of the mustard family.

Lepidium bonariense is a part of the larger mustard/cabbage family, Brassicaceae, which, as we've learned, may have cancer-fighting properties.

Commonly found all across North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia, it's one of the "international" herbs around, though its origins trace back to Iran.

Oftentimes you'll see it subbed in for watercress, though peppercress has a much more assertive flavor than watercress.

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Peppercress is available year-round, but its peak season begins in the spring and lasts all throughout summer, and they keep for quite a while when you store them in the water with the stems down. When purchasing peppercress, make sure to avoid any yellowed leaves.

Brightly flavored with a bit of kick, peppercress is also an excellent source of vitamin A, C, iron, and potassium. Some claim that it also has detoxifying properties and can stir up your appetite when you're not feeling great.

Want to give peppercress a try? Check out some incredibly easy recipes that feature the herb!

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Fig salad with goat cheese and peppercress

Recipe via Epicurious

Ingredients
1/2 cup goat's milk yogurt
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon (scant) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
24 ripe black Mission figs, halved lengthwise
Fleur de sel
2 bunches pepper cress or watercress, thick stems trimmed (about 4 cups)
1 cup (loosely packed) small mint leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 dried Indonesian long pepper

Method
1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and reserve.

2. Sprinkle figs with fleur de sel; set in center of plate.

3. Drizzle dressing on figs; scatter pepper cress and mint over.

4. Season with olive oil and Indonesian pepper.

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Peppercress and poached egg salad

Recipe via Not Eating Out in New York

Ingredients
about 2 cups fresh peppercress (or a combination of peppercress and mesclun greens)
1 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons white truffle oil
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 fresh egg*

*I find that the fresher the egg, the better the whites hold together when cooking. If you have less fresh eggs or aren’t sure, you can add a couple teaspoons of vinegar (any kind) to the boiling water, which will help it hold.

Method
1. Bring a small saucepan of water at least three inches deep to boil. Reduce heat so that the water is just barely bubbling, very slowly. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Holding the bowl close to the surface of the water, slip the egg into the water swiftly. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. 2 minutes is when I like to remove my egg with a slotted spoon from the water. Set a timer if needed and do not open the lid until the 2 minutes are up.

2. Meanwhile, drizzle the salad greens with the Balsamic vinegar and truffle oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.

3. Carefully remove the egg with a slotted spoon from the water and let excess water drip off. Top the salad with the egg, a twist of black pepper if desired, and serve immediately.

leaves

Peppercress is easy to grow, but its seeds are not very common. It's often grown indoors, in a pot placed in water, and takes as long as 24 days to grow. With an Urban Cultivator, though, it's as easy as one, two, three!

When using an Urban Cultivator, peppercress only takes about two to three weeks. As peppercress requires a lot of water to grow, the automatic watering function of the Urban Cultivator will save you a ton of time.

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All you need to plant, and you'll be ready to harvest in no time!

What do you like to do with peppercress? Let us know in the comments section!

Learn About... Savory

Summer Savory

"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

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Savory isn't something you might have in your pantry at any given time. It's no basil or even thyme.

But its presence is undeniable; just a little of it can really make a difference in your dishes. Continue reading “Learn About... Savory” »

Learn About... Oregano

fresh oregano

"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves

Oregano is one of those ubiquitous herbs. In fact, you probably have it more than you know. It's a beautifully aromatic herb, but with it in your dish, oregano can make all the difference.

If you watched even a second of any Rachel Ray cooking show, then you'll know (as she loved reiterating so much) that oregano means "joy of the mountains." Continue reading “Learn About... Oregano” »

Learn About... Sage

Fresh sage leaves

"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

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Ah, woodsy, earthy sage. It's the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving meal. It elevates your poultry, it gives an oomph to your butternut squash.

But what else is it good for? What else do you use sage for?

Well, let's take a look at its background and how it's been used in history. Continue reading “Learn About... Sage” »

Learn About... Sorrel

Sorrel microgreens

"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves

Never heard of sorrel? Don't worry—you aren't the only one.

It's not one of the most popular herbs in North America, but as to why that is, it's a mystery; sorrel is a wonderfully tart and succulent treat! Continue reading “Learn About... Sorrel” »

Learn About... Mizuna

fresh mizuna

"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves

Sharp, spicy, bright, and gorgeous, mizuna, or Brassica rapa nipposinica, is a cook's dream. It holds a distinct flavor profile, and is one of the most interesting greens around.

Continue reading “Learn About... Mizuna” »

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