Probably one of the BEST recipes I have learned and taught in Tuscany are my Tuscan Herbs.
Every butcher has his own blend, which is used on the fabulous prepared meats, ready to cook, which are sold in the markets here.
The base is a simple trinity of rosemary, sage and garlic, finely chopped with fine sea salt.
Remove the herbs from branches and place on cutting board with some sliced garlic and salt.
Chop with a sharp knife or a mezzaluna until very fine.
The salt absorbs the essential oils in the herbs and helps dry the herbs.
My local butchers also add black pepper, fennel seeds or pollen and sometimes fresh bay leaves.
I like to use the base and add things as the recipe inspires me.
- Fresh rosemary
- (Rosmarino marino is the plant of the kitchen. Don't use the landscaping variety because it has resin on the branches.)
- Fresh sage
- Fresh garlic, sliced
- Sea salt
- (fine not coarse)
- I use about 1 cup of rosemary needles, 1/2 cup of sage leaves, and 2 garlic cloves.
- Remove the rosemary needles from the branches and the sage leaves from the stems.
- Spread out the herbs on a cutting board, add the garlic, and sprinkle with 2 tbs of fine sea salt.
- Using a mezzaluna or large knife, chop in a rocking motion until the herb mixture is almost a powder. If the mixture seems too wet, add another teaspoon of salt. Spread the mixture on a cutting board and let dry over night.
Enjoy- it is great on meats and also on roasted vegetables.
Most of my students end up adding it to a plate of good Tuscan oil and just dipping bread in it.
If you want to use it fresh, go light on the salt.
It is very similar to the herb infused oil for Dario Cecchini’s Arrosto Fiorentino.