Herbal Chutneys, Salsas, and Herb Butters

Herbal Chutneys, Salsas, and Herb Butters

Part of Ep. 1301 Gardening and Cooking with Herbs

In Green Bay, meet restaurant owner Susan Beno who prepares herbed butters, chutneys and savory salsas. Shelley Ryan's favorite is an orange salsa containing a delightful mix of oranges, lemons, green olives and parsley.

Premiere date: Jul 09, 2005

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
We've been talking about using herbs in teas and desserts and delicate savories, now we're going to look at a couple more robust menus. I'm at Café Susan in Green Bay with the owner Susan Beno. Susan, I hear you've been working with herbs and cooking for a long time.

Susan:
Oh, a long time Shelley. Twenty years, I've been teaching herb gardening classes, harvesting and planting according to season and we have a wonderful cooking garden out in the side of our kitchen. But today we're going to talk a little bit about different kinds of salsas. You know we've got some wonderful savory salsas going on, and we're going work with some chutneys. And I’m going to give a description of what the difference is here and then we've got some herb butters that are smashing for the table. So, first thing we're going to do is we're going to use black-eyed peas, because this is a black-eyed pea salsa and I'd like you to use dried black-eyed peas. Don't use canned, because they get too mushy.

Shelley:
Ok. So we want them a little--

Susan:
A little al dente.

Shelley:
Ok.

Susan:
And then in here we've got corn, celery, all kinds of peppers, tomatoes and some fresh chopped cilantro. This is a great salsa, you could find these ingredients available. They're great for fall, you know farmers markets stock those kinds of things.

Shelley:
But you can get this as long as you're using fresh ingredients. How would you define salsa?

Susan:
That is the definition, right there. Salsa, fresh, they have a lot of snap to them and a little bit of character.

Shelley:
Ok.

Susan:
And then we're going to make our dressing. And our dressing is composed of extra virgin olive oil, we've got some rice wine vinegar here. And then this is something that I just adore and you're going to love the smell of this. This is some of our coriander seed and I've toasted the seeds.

Shelley:
In a dry pan, over heat.

Susan:
Just in a dry pan over heat. I mean don't leave that pan alone.

Shelley:
No, they'll burn quick.

Susan:
Keep an eye on it. But smell how, isn't that and I describe it as this brown smell.

Shelley:
Yes.

Susan:
It smells brown to me.

Shelley:
And what a lot of people don't realize too is cilantro and coriander are the same plant. The seeds and the green leaves. The plant does double duty.

Susan:
It's a wonderful plant and you know we harvest these seeds put them in your pepper mill.

Shelley:
Oh all winter long.

Susan:
All winter. I mean, it just is such a great thing. Add a little bit of mashed garlic here and then a little bit of maple syrup. And what that does is kind of ties all this stuff together.

Shelley:
So sweet and sour and savory.

Susan:
It's just helps to keep that olive oil and vinegar from separating. And then we dump this right on top. And if you want to fold that over. And when I say fold I mean lightly fold that over cause we don't want to break those beans.

Shelley:
So we're still trying not to smash things.

Susan:
You want everything in its own little unit and you can see the colors are beautiful.

Shelley:
Gorgeous.

Susan:
This can be not only used as a salsa but we can stuff that in whole wheat pita bread and it makes a wonderful sandwich with a little bit of fata cheese, it's awesome.

Shelley:
So salsa's not just for dipping any more.

Susan:
Not at all.

Shelley:
Great.

Susan:
Not just for chips.

Shelley:
Well what is this?

Susan:
This I know you've been smelling this one. This one has green olives, and onions. It has oranges, fresh lemons, garlic, basil, parsley. And here's our mis en place. Everything’s all together here. Everything just gets cut up and folded together and this is not only a wonderful salsa served with like a black bean chip, but it is wonderful with fresh fish. Pull a piece of fish off the grill, it is absolutely dynamite. But it works with chicken and again it is just--

Shelley:
I'm having it in a big bowl.

Susan:
Yes. And you could just eat it too. On mixed greens it would be quite smashing, I think.

Shelley:
So salsa's not just tomatoes either.

Susan:
Not at all. And I didn't want to do a tomato one because you know.

Shelley:
We all do that.

Susan:
Been there, done that.

Shelley:
So what's the difference between a salsa then and a chutney?

Susan:
A salsa and a chutney-- Nice fresh ingredients, a lot of snap-- none of this has been cooked see. And we've got cooked ingredients over here.

Shelley:
Ok.

Susan:
This is wonderful, and you know in the spring everybody’s got tons of rhubarb.

Shelley:
Yes.

Susan:
This is a rhubarb chutney. Fabulous, it's got rhubarb, it's got Door County dried cherries.

Shelley:
Ok.

Susan:
Ginger, orange, sugar, some nice spices, we've got some cinnamon, some coriander seed crushed in there.

Shelley:
Oh so it does.

Susan:
Yeah and then in here we've got a little bit of red wine vinegar, well it was wine, but now its vinegar. So we've added that, just put it in a pot, cook it down, bring it up to a boil and let it simmer a little while. Done. And it's excellent.

Shelley:
How would I use it?

Susan:
We're serving that today in our restaurant. We're serving that with a basil and bacon sandwich. So we've got that sweet and salt going on, the flavors are going to be fabulous together. And our last thing over here, we've got the butters.

Shelley:
Look at that.

Susan:
And this is butter that I added a number of different herbs to the butter and you fold the herbs right into the butter.

Shelley:
Ok.

Susan:
And then I made a layer of olive tapenade. So it's butter, olive tapenade, and that's just an olive paste, and then more butter.

Shelley:
So when I slice into it, it's going to have layers.

Susan:
Exactly. You could serve this on pasta, we can do this on crusty bread. You can put it on-- we did sage derby scones today. It's going to be excellent on sage derby scones. And then here is how you do it. You just take a container line it with a little saran wrap. I thought this was kind of cute. I took one of my nasturtiums, put that in the bottom.

Shelley:
Oh pretty. And this is just another herb butter then.

Susan:
Another herb butter. This is my “Garfunkle” butter, rosemary, thyme, sage, what am I missing? Parsley.

Shelley:
You don't want me to sing it. No, ok.

Susan:
Ok, and then I put-- and then another use for the herb butter, put it inside your ear of corn. Flip the top over it and oh good. Delicious. Absolutely delicious. And if you look on the end, herbs are not just for food but they make beautiful filler for flower arrangements.

Shelley:
And we don't think about that very often, do we?

Susan:
We don't. And we've got scented geranium here, we've got the sage. It's beautiful. It will complement any flower garden.

Shelley:
And it will smell nice too.

Susan:
And it smells good too.

Shelley:
This is some great ideas. Thank you so much.

Susan:
Thank you.

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