Archives for posts with tag: Herbs

Lots of herbs to dry. 

The weather keeps reminding me to get busy and begin sowing seeds for earlier plants to plant out later. 

Herbs like basil and oregano need to be started early in this climate as well as lettuce and brassica. To start out they’ll be kept warm indoors until they germinate and grow to a good size for planting out. 

The other day I boiled some soybeans for making 2 trial versions of rye miso that I can taste earlier. But I messed up and slightly toasted them in the end. Everything has to be perfect for this test, so I couldn’t use the beans. But they weren’t bad enough to throw away either. 

So, while a new batch of beans are cooking, I can use these to make some soy patties. 

Mix in onions

Herbs and salt

Oat meal and and whatever other stuff is desired

Mix and grind

Fry patties

Eat them

And finally, freeze in the leftovers. 

This time there is a mix of home grown herbs thrown into the otherwise ordinary 2 year rice miso. 

It’s really good!

I’ve sown a tray of brassicas and another of lettuces, also a couple of weeks earlier then last year.


The herbs from earlier seem to be surviving the cold nights and will probably be ok, but many of the scraggly sprouts most likely won’t make it. 

Now for a few days holiday in Holland. 

Probably the last miso this season, I made a larger batch with 1 kilo of Chinese organic soybeans, 1 kilo of rice koji and 460 gm seasalt. After the ordinary washing, soaking, boiling and grinding, I mixed all the ingredients and grinded some more, and then put about half into a 2 liter jar.

The remaining portion got an additional mix of herbs to make an herbal miso. I mixed in garlic, thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage and basil, and put it into jars.

Todays result. Now to wait 2 years for the fermentation to do it’s wonders.

In the meantime there is a lot of watering, weeding and building on the gothic greenhouse to do. And next week we take a vacation to the far north for some camping and hiking etc.

Fresh herbs are best, but for a month now we have been collecting and drying many herbs for use the rest of the year.

Oregano, thyme and basil

The list is long. My favorites are garlic and basil, and also the South France mix ‘Herbes de Provence’. My mix includes thyme, basil and oregano as the base with perhaps some sage and rosemary.

These herbs are used, of course, in a lot of cooking but also as a flavoring in pickles (with dill) and in my herbal miso.

Many of the herbs have gone wild like these oregano among the peonies and roses.

Or is it marjoram? I’m always unsure. I just make sure to pick the strongest smelling stuff.

The last batch of miso for this season will be an herb miso. I confess, it’s my invention, I think. I have not found anything like it anywhere in the world, including Japan and China, but I’m sure there must be someone, somewhere that has developed something similar.

This is a standard 2 year rice miso with herbs thrown in to ferment along with the soybeans. It’s miso with a European touch – very tasty and quite popular too.

Here’s the recipe.

700 gr soybeans
700 gr rice koji
320 gr salt
1 tbs (tablespoon) thyme
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs basil
5 or so cloves of garlic

Follow the standard recipe found in the menu above under ‘How to make miso’.

I soaked the beans yesterday morning, boiled them for 4 hours, then let them sit overnight. This morning I ground the beans (I’ve found grinding them before adding the other ingredients is easier on the machine).

Then add the koji and grind some more. Add the herbs after grinding and mix thoroughly.

Pack in a large canning jar and put away to ferment for 2 years.

I like to leave the garlic cloves whole or halved. It is a delight to find a pickled clove – the flavor is so mild yet pungent. Garlic lovers can put in a lot more than I do. You can also use many other favorite herbs such as sage, rosemary, bay leaf etc.

Mine are all home grown.

The tomatoes I took in to ripen indoors, after the frost killed the plants, gradually reddened, got soft and tasty. We used them as they ripened, but they became too many all at once, so I decided that I would try making a salsa with the rest. And it turned out quite good.

I don’t have a proper recipe for this, but here’s how I did it.

– clean and chop tomatoes (all kinds)
– slice onion and garlic
– sauté in cast iron pot
– put tomatoes into pot
– add salt
– add herbs
– add spices
– simmer a few hours until it thickens
– let cool in stainless steel pan
– mash or mix into a fine purée
– put into containers to refrigerate
– or freeze if there is too much

The herbs I used here are thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil from the garden but dried for winter use. I also put in some imported spices like ground cumin, curry powder, chili pepper (our own) and black pepper. I just throw the herbs and spices in without measuring according to experience and taste.


Now for some macroweeding.

I’m trying to make a new herb garden. The old one was further away, shady, and infested with oak roots.

I have been working on eradicating all the weeds from this area, but I know that’s impossible. Two years ago I put black plastic over the central part. A very effective method, but the outer parts still have a lot of root weeds ready to retake area. Then there are the seed weeds. Some survive the darkness under the plastic for years, others fly in anew.

So I’ve been rototilling, hand cultivating and weeding all summer, and still it doesn’t seem quite ready. I will however, as usual, prematurely start the rockery and planting this fall.