Stillwater Sweet BBQ Sauce
Lentil Stew Mix
Three Hearts Farm - Bozeman
Amaltheia Organic Dairy - Belgrade
Moss Farm - Rollins (WMGC)
Foothill Farm - St. Ignatius (WMGC)
Headwaters BBQ - Bozeman
Farver Farms - Scobey
*WMGC = Western Montana Growers Co-op
I recently met both the Farver Farms and Headwaters BBQ folks at the Montana Food Show. Since the lentil stew I wanted to try called for BBQ sauce, it seemed like a great opportunity to get both. FYI -Farver Farms is changing their packaging a bit, and the lentil stew will be called Sweet Lentil Chili, should you come across it in the future. Since the lentil stew comes with its own recipe, I don't feel bad giving you two very short and simple recipes here (other side).
I geeked out on thyme this week because it's such a versatile herb that can be used in widely different preparations. It just as easily compliments rich ingredients like roasted meats or sauteed mushrooms as it does light, fresh ingredients like apples or berries. It can be used in savory preparations like pasta, or sweet preparations like pie. It can hold up to roasting yet is tender enough to eat fresh.
Keep it wrapped up in the fridge and it will stay fresh for a while, or hang it up to dry and then store it in an airtight container, or freeze it whole in a freezer bag and add a pinch of leaves to soups and stews all winter. Whatever you do, don't let it go to waste! It's a humble twig, but has so much to give. And sometimes, having a fresh herb on hand is the best place to start when deciding what to make. Fortunately for us, LOTS of things go well with thyme. Have an abundance of root vegetables or potatoes? Cut them to about the same size and roast a big batch with olive oil, thyme, and salt. Making a pasta sauce or a soup? There's a good chance it would be good with thyme. Sauteing veggies? Cooking chicken? Add thyme. Or try it in:
Baked goods: pie crust, cobbler, cornbread, biscuits...
Infusions: simple syrup for cocktails, or vinegar, or olive oil
Herbed butter or herbed salt
Or throw whole sprigs in to roast with pretty much any kind or cut of meat
Thyme Dijon Dressing
What you'll need:
1/4 C olive oil
1-2 Tbs acid - fresh lemon juice, balsamic, white wine, red wine, or cider vinegars. Each will make it a slightly different dressing. All will be good. Add more acid to taste.
2 tsp fresh thyme - strip leaves from stem and give a quick chop
1 tsp dijon mustard - sub a different mustard if you don't have/don't want dijon
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Shake it all up in a small jar with a lid, or whisk together in a small bowl. This would be great on a spinach salad with sliced apple, thinly sliced red onion, and maybe some chopped nuts, salty cheese, or dried cranberries. You could also try it as a marinade. Increase recipe as needed.
Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme & Garlic
This makes a fairly small batch, but is easily doubled or tripled if you have more tomatoes.
What you'll need:
1 lb fresh tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 tsp thyme leaves, stripped from stem
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
~1/4 cup olive oil, or whatever you prefer for roasting
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Put tomatoes in a bowl, add all other ingredients and stir until the
tomatoes are well-coated in the oil, herbs, and seasoning. Transfer everything to a rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish. Spread out evenly and bake for about 30 minutes or until they're very soft but not burned. If you want, you can periodically baste the tomatoes with the oil/juices in the bottom of the pan while they cook. You can also roast them whole if you don't feel like cutting them, or if you decide to make it with cherry tomatoes sometime. Whole larger tomatoes may take a little longer.
Transfer to a serving bowl as is, or add some feta cheese, and serve as an appetizer or a side dish. This would be good on bread, pita, or crackers. You could also toss the tomatoes with cooked pasta and parmesan, or add them to a soup or a salad...