If you follow me here or through my social media, you know how much dill and mint I use. Pereg makes some of the best dried versions.
Some herbs provide just the right accent to summer and fall fare. According to the experts at Pereg Natural Foods, you’ll want to keep Luisa, Mint, and Dill at the ready this time of year. At home in both casual and formal situations, these all-natural essentials bring harmony to a variety of seasonal menu items. Here’s the low-down.
Luisa, or lemon verbena, has a mild lemon vibe with gentle overtones of freshly cut grass. It’s often used in ice cream and sorbets as well as trendy cocktails. It also makes a heavenly tea – especially when paired with mint. (More on that later.)
When infused in poaching liquid, Pereg’s Luisa gives a bright, herbaceous lift to fruit, chicken, or fish. Try adding it to whipping cream as a topper for grilled peaches, mixed berries, rhubarb cobbler, or any other fruit-based dessert. Or dress up salads with a zesty luisa-infused vinaigrette dressing.
Did you know…? Lemon verbena’s powerful antioxidants have been known to relieve indigestion, gas and other digestive disorders, joint pain, asthma, colds, skin conditions, fever, insomnia, and more.
Mint simply makes everything fresher. It’s at home in many international cuisines – from the Middle East, where tabouli is king, to India, where minted chutneys, flat breads, rice, raita, and beverages add a cooling element to fiery dishes.
Closer to home, we love exploiting mint’s natural affinity for chocolate – minted whipped cream is sublime between layers of rich chocolate cake – but it’s not just for dessert. This versatile herb can give a delightful punch to green salads, beans, or rice. Put a surprising spin on pasta or grilled chicken by swapping basil with mint in your favorite pesto recipe. And while mint tea certainly holds its own, try it in herbal beverages of all kinds. Summer’s the perfect time for iced mint-luisa tea.
Did you know…? Mint naturally soothes digestive issues and contains antifungal properties that might help treat asthma and allergies. It shows promise in the prevention of certain cancers.
Dill is practically synonymous with fish – particularly salmon – and is a match made in heaven with lamb. Generations of grandmas would be aghast at the thought of chicken soup or borscht without dill.
A must for potato salad, egg salad, and fresh tomatoes in the summer, Pereg’s Dill also perks up classic cool-weather fare. Sprinkle it on chicken before roasting, add it to creamy chowders, and use it to give a fresh kick to sides like green bean dishes, rice, and sautéed mushrooms. Dill and lemon sing when paired together in sauces, butter, and salad dressings.
Did you know…? Dill has been used to fight fever, coughs, throat pain, and cramps as well as digestive ailments, kidney disease, and gallbladder issues. Some find it effective in promoting sleep and alleviating depression.
Pereg’s Mint, Luisa and Dill are 100% natural and certified OU and CRC Kosher. Dill & Mint are both available in 1.4 oz jars, Luisa – 0.5 oz; SRP for each: $4.85
Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.
Cheese For The Nine Days
It’s time to prep for those dairy meals before Tisha B’Av. Here is the very best kosher cheese manufacturer hands down.
Meet Brent Delman, a.k.a. “The Cheese Guy,” your cheesemonger, producer, affineur, educator and purveyor of rich, flavorful small-batch cheeses that are also kosher, vegetarian and 100% free of artificial preservatives or flavorings.
While most specialty and many commercial brands are made with animal rennet and other animal enzymes, you can count on The Cheese Guy to use only plant-based or microbial non-animal enzymes. I’ve spent the past two decades perfecting my recipes and seeking out the highest quality ingredients.
The result? Mouthwatering artisanal cheeses that will satisfy any cheese lover regardless of dietary needs – from strictly kosher to unabashed omnivore.
Try a hint-of-lemon goat cheese. Got an adventurous spirit? Try some spicy jalapeño pepper jack, or a pungent blue cheeses or a craft beer cheddar. For kid-friendly options, you can’t go wrong with smooth, mild cheddar or Monterey Jack, while the health-minded will appreciate a selection of organic varieties and even Italian specialty cheeses such as sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano.
Slice it, melt it, grate it, spread it…..just dig in and gift it!! Delmas will make arrangements to secure that the cheese remain fresh.
My Vacation Margarita
I recently traveled to Grenada, a great place for a getaway with a Chabad. I am not a big rum fan, so I tweeted a local favorite drink and called it my Vacarita— a frozen margarita of tequila, chocolate liquor, some stevia and ice. Serve with chocolate shavings at home and a chocolate covered strawberry for a great presentation.
Cindy Grosz can be found on social media as @cindyscorners
Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org