Monday, September 7, 2009

Sally Grows Shiso By The Seashore

I want to get my shiso post in before summer is over! isn't that today? hopefully September will be balmy. There are so many summery things to with this exotic and striking herb, a little bit minty and a tad spicy. I put some plants in the vegetable garden 3 years ago, each spring they come back, and this year with a vengeance, I have been giving away plants like nobody's business, it's vigorous and plentiful, which sort of makes up for the poor performance of tomatoes this summer....dreaded blight. You can find shiso (aka perilla and aoshiso) in Asian markets, when I lived in the city I would by it from Sunrise Mart on Broome Street, a great japanese grocery store. Shiso is an interesting addition to the vegetable garden, a no fuss plant and the deer don't like it, hurrah!
Easy things to do with shiso

throw some littlenecks on the barbie and make a dipping sauce of chopped shiso, soy sauce sesame oil and mirin

grill some pork tenderloin, slice it into bite size pieces and wrap in shiso leaves

add chopped shiso to miso udon noodles

make a nectarine and tomato salsa with chopped shiso and olive oil

add a shiso leaf to a gin and tonic, or any cocktail, my favorite non-alcoholic drink this summer - in a jug put ruby grapefruit juice with tonic water add a bunch of shiso leaves and steep to release flavors, a refreshing change from iced tea

toss angel hair pasta with olive oil and chopped shiso

shiso summer roll
nectarine, tomato, cooked shrimp, chopped shiso, spring roll wrappers (rice paper rounds) cooked vermicelli noodles, ( I used green tea noodles, that was all I had, they turned out to be very tasty, and looked pretty too ) 

dipping sauce
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce

I have also made a sweet version of the summer roll, using grilled nectarines and slivers of shiso, served with ginger ice cream.

Use shiso as you would basil and mint with fresh raw foods or added at the end of cooking, too much heat will destroy the fragrant aromas. I think that's it for the lovely shiso, until next summer anyway.......

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