This was my “fun with fresh herbs” dinner — I just threw a few things together and it all worked out. We had sauteed mushrooms with parsley and lemon, chicken breasts sauteed with fresh thyme and parsley, onions, garlic and lemon, “fresh herb mix” salad with apples and lemon vinaigrette, some leftover butternut squash risotto and a loaf of rustic Italian bread on the side.
8 oz. carton of fresh sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup minced shallots or onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and saute over medium heat until juices have reduced and thickened somewhat, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. These make a great appetizer with a glass of white wine. I was craving mushrooms, so I just had a big plate of mushrooms and salad.
Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Herbs, Onions and Garlic
2 small chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 slice of onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (and more thyme for garnish)
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter together over medium-high heat and add the chicken breasts. You can either finish cooking the chicken on one side before you add the rest of the ingredients, if you just want the onions and garlic soft and not browned, or the add lemon juice, onions, garlic and herbs right after you put the chicken in if you want the onions and garlic “highly caramelized.” It helps to keep the onions and garlic together in a separate area of the pan from the chicken so you can turn each independently and keep the onions and garlic from burning. Just make sure you don’t cook the onions and garlic with semi-raw chicken and take them out before everything is done. That would be bad. As you can see, this recipe is far from scientific. I just threw a bunch of stuff in a pan and it tasted good together.
For the salad, I used “fresh herb mix” prepackaged salad, and topped it with sliced apples and lemon vinaigrette, my usual homemade dressing. For the dressing, just whisk together 3 tablespoons EVOO, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard and salt and pepper. You can adjust the proportions however you want to emphasize the flavors you like. Happy eating!