- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- 1 cup water
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- Scones or crackers as accompaniments
- In a small heavy saucepan simmer cherries in water until liquid is reduced to about 1 Tablespoon. Remove pan from heat and cool mixture.
- In a bowl whisk together cream cheese, pecans, lime juice, thyme, zest, cherry mixture, and salt and pepper to taste until spread is combined well.
- Serve spread with scones or crackers.
- Spread may be made 2 days ahead and kept chilled, covered.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.