Sage, Rosemary and Basil are herbs which tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on insect inspection.
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups chopped seeded peeled plum tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds)
3 fresh sage leaves
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
6 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, sage leaves and rosemary sprig to skillet. Simmer tomato mixture until reduced to 1 1/2 cups thick puree, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet to thickness of 1/8 inch. Using 7-inch-diameter plate as guide, cut out 3 pastry dough rounds. Repeat with remaining puff pastry sheet, forming a total of 6 rounds. Place 3 rounds on each of 2 large baking sheets. Spread generous 2 tablespoons tomato puree over each puff pastry round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Arrange tomato rounds over puree on pastry. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Bake until tart crusts are golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix fresh basil and remaining 2 minced garlic cloves in bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/3 cup oil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon basil-oil mixture over each tartlet and serve.
Fresh Herbs and Insect Infestation:
Sage, Rosemary and Basil and other herbs (including cilantro, thyme, dill, mint, oregano and parsley are often used as spices or garnishing. 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.
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.
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.
1. 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 non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded