The return of warm weather means the return of fresh, Island-grown food. This month we’re celebrating herbs, the plants responsible for adding depth and flavor to all our favorite dishes.
Last summer at the Community Services Childcare Center, students planted an herb garden full of basil, dill, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, sorrel, sage, chives, parsley, mint, and chamomile. This garden provided herbs for projects and recipes all summer long, including making sun tea, dilly beans, and dried herb sachets. The children were adventurous herb tasters; they also enjoyed eating sorrel, mint, and chives straight from the garden.
This month, challenge yourself to taste a new herb or use herbs in a new way. Sorrel, mint, and basil can add extra flavor to a simple green salad. Toss together chopped watermelon, mint, and feta cheese for a refreshing side dish. You can also make easy loose-leaf tea by pouring hot water over fresh or dried herbs in a glass pitcher. Let it steep for a few minutes, strain through a coffee filter or paper towel, and enjoy with honey.
Local herbs can be found at many Island farm stands, including Morning Glory Farm, North Tabor Farm, and Ghost Island Farm.
Herbed Frittata Panino (sandwich)
Recipe by Robin Forte
1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
1 tsp. oregano, chopped
1 very small garlic clove, finely minced
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
2 crusty rolls or 4 pieces of thickly cut peasant-style bread
Crack eggs into a bowl, add herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper, mix well. Heat a nonstick pan over low to medium heat. Add butter. When butter is hot, add egg mixture. Turn down heat to low and stir once or twice, just until curds start to form. Let the frittata cook until the bottom is starting to firm up. Cover and cook for another minute or two, until the eggs are completely set. Unmold the frittata onto a plate. Can be served warm or at room temperature. To make a panino, cut the frittata in half and place each half on a roll or lightly toasted bread.
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.