No matter how cold or gray it is, it feels like a little bit of spring when I spot the first herb and bulb shoots poking through ice and snow. Although I freeze, dehydrate, and otherwise preserve homegrown herbs to use all year, I’m always eager for the first fresh cuttings. Once enough have popped up that I can do more than sprinkle them as a garnish, I make savory scones packed with fresh herb flavors.
I share a savory version of my favorite scone recipe in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. In early spring, I use chives and parsley, the first herbs that appear in my garden or I can get fresh locally. As the weeks pass, I start to swap in sorrel, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, dill, and more.
The addition of sour cream lets the baking soda handle all of the oven rise (a trick I learned when I couldn’t find baking powder) and makes the scones moist and tangy. For even more flavor, use Homemade Sour Cream.
Learn more about using and storing herbs and get the complete recipe for Savory Herb and Sour Cream Scones in my column.
Twice as Tasty
The time of year when perennial herbs begin to grow again may be called spring elsewhere, but in Montana we call it mud season. I had a chance to share mud season stories in my latest piece for the Fifth Season Fresh. I also share a hearty bean salad recipe that fits that shoulder season when I still want filling meals but also crave fresh herbs and greens. I make this salad during mud season with sorrel, another perennial that returns early in my garden and is my replacement for basil until that better-known herb takes off in the greenhouse.
The salad can be made with plenty of other variations, from scallions for chives to chard, arugula, spinach, or a blend for the greens. For peak freshness, make Quick Homemade Mozzarella for the cheese layer.
Learn more about mud season herbs and get the complete recipe for Herbed Bean Salad at Fifth Season Fresh.
I share a third recipe that blends spring greens with filling ingredients in another recent piece for Fifth Season Fresh. I’ve been making this curry for years, and I don’t think it’s ever looked as beautiful as when it was photographed for this story by Jessicarobyn Keyser. The curry tastes as good as it looks.
The use of spinach in this dish makes it an ideal shoulder-season meal early in the year, when I can use the last of my storage onions and potatoes and the first spinach leaves. It’s also a great dish at the end of the year, when we dig and cure the season’s potatoes and onions and harvest the last of the spinach before a garden-ending cold snap. It’s so warm and filling that I make it in a large batch that fills a wok. Again, homemade dairy brings out the best flavor, this time from the addition of Fresh Yogurt and Fresh Paneer.
Read about why I just had to have a wok and get the complete recipe for Spinach, Potato, and Mushroom Curry at Fifth Season Fresh. You can also learn more about making homemade cheese and other dairy here on Twice as Tasty.
Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I also share tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic, a digital collection in an easy-to-read PDF format; it’s only available here.