Herbs at Heartline Hearthouse in Eureka on August 22

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension - Woodford County Master Gardeners are adding some celebration to their summer with the sweet aroma and culinary delight of herbs from the garden in a program entitled "It's a Culinary Delight!" This program is from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22 at the Heartline and Heart House in the Community Room in Eureka. Our Woodford County Master Gardeners planted sweet and savory herbs in the raised beds at Heartline and Heart House and now want to share the harvest with the community. You will learn how to grow herbs, revel in the "tastes" of the landscape with tasty treats created by the Master Gardener team and even discover new and inventive ways to use your herbs. The program invites the community to eat the landscape with tried and true Master Gardener snacks highlighting their favorite herbs. This year, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup will bring along her refreshing basil lemonade and invigorating mint and lime water. "You would think basil, lemon and sugar would not be a delicious combination of flavors, but it turns out it is a must have recipe for late summer activities," says Allsup. Master Gardeners will also do what they do best by teaching you the value of these edibles and share plenty of tips on growing them. Participants in the program will receive handouts and a recipe book.

Please join us for this leisurely event at Heartline (200 Reagan Drive, Eureka, IL 61530), where Allsup and the Master Gardener team will spread the word on herbs. Here is an herbal recipe for Pesto by University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator & Registered Dietitian, Jenna Smith, which will be highlighted during the program. There is no cost or registration, as we picture this event to be a celebration of hard work and homegrown herbs! For questions or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Kelly Allsup, Extension unit educator, Horticulture-Livingston, McLean and Woodford Unit at (309) 663-8306 or at kallsup@illinois.edu.

3 cups herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, etc.), ¾ teaspoon salt, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon pepper, ¼ cup nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.), ½ cup olive oil. Over medium-high heat, toast the nuts in a skillet for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. In a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, nuts, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Pour into a bowl, tightly covered and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Use pesto tossed with pasta and parmesan cheese, as a spread in grilled cheese or quesadillas, or layered in lasagna. Toss in scrambled eggs or enjoy in popcorn with grated parmesan. Use as a sauce on pizza dough and top with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Yield: 2 cups Nutrient analysis per 2 tablespoons (using parsley and walnuts): 90 calories, 8 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 130 milligrams sodium, 3 grams total carbohydrate, 1-gram dietary fiber, 2 grams protein