The Essental Herbal is a print magazine that arrives six times a year. It’s filled with herbal information and recipes, both culinary and medicinal. When it arrives, I stop what I’m doing to look at it. It’s one of my favorite magazines because I always find interesting information and something new to try.
For example, the July-August issue contains information on Rosemary along with recipes for rosemary butter and rosemary jelly. There is essential oil and herbal information for the Labor & Delivery Room, which isn’t something that I need, but is great information for someone who wants to have herbal preparations like Massage Oil for Prolonged Labor or Floral Water & Flower Essence Spray for Contractions.
There’s an article on Herbal Aromatics which talks about the history of herbal preparation and provides instructions on making and filling an Herbal Pillow. There’s even a lengthy list of herbs to consider using to stuff the dream pillows.
There’s a unique collection of herbal recipes for your pets including Herbal Doggie Shampoo, Herbal Flea Rinse, Herbal Dog Biscuits, Feline Spray, and Kittie Kookies.
There are a couple articles on making soap, and of course several culinary recipes that include herbs and vegetables from your summer garden.
If you love herbs and love learning about them as well as learning new ways to use them, then you’ll LOVE The Essential Herbal.
The following recipe is from the July-August issue and is 100 years old. The contributor, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh, www.backyardpatch.blogspot.com, says that she was skeptical of cooking cucumbers when she first tried it, but claims that this is a great dish with an extraordinarily refreshing summer taste.
Cucumbers, pared and sliced (enough to fill your casserole dish)
About 1 1/2 C bread crumbs mixed with melted butter
1-2 T butter (for garnish)
1/4 C hot water
Salt & Pepper
Arrange alternate layers of sliced cucumbers and buttered crumbs in well buttered baking dish. Dot with butter, season with salt and pepper. Cover with more buttered crumbs. Add hot water and cover. Bake in a moderate oven (400* F) until tender. Uncover and cook until browned. Serve immediately. Served 6 – 8 depending on size of dish.
Because everyone needs another recipe for suggestions on what to do with their zucchini, I’m including this recipe, also from the July-August issue and also from Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh.
Zucchini Spinach Casserole
1 1/2 lb zucchini
1 bunch spinach or other fresh greens
1/4 c chopped parsley
2 T olive oil
1 T Real Salt*
1/4 T mace
3/4 c grated cheese
1 c sprouted lentils or mixed beans
1/2 cu bread crumbs or wheat germ
1 T butter
Cut zucchini into 1/4 inch slices and tear greens into bite sized pieces. heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add zucchini and stir to coat with oil. Cover pan; when zucchini begins to steam, turn down to simmer. Cook until half-done (about 5 minutes.) Add greens and parsley and stir until wilted. Season with salt and mace. layer half vegetables, half cheese and all sprouts in lightly greased baking dish. Repeat layers with remaining vegetables and cheese. Top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 350* F for 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
*You can also use a mixture similar to Fines Herbes which is a blend of equal parts of chives, tarragon, parsley, and chervil.
On The Essential Herbal website, you’ll be able to download a previous issue so you can see for yourself if this is a magazine you would enjoy.