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Enhance food with herbs fresh from the garden

By Hawaiian Electric Co.

LAST UPDATED: 12:19 a.m. HST, Feb 3, 2011

Not only will the Urban Garden Center's plant sale on Saturday feature native plants, vegetables, palms, herbs and fruit trees, the Honolulu Rose Society will be selling roses as well for those planning to celebrate Valentine's Day.


Plant sale and workshop:
» When: 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 12
» Where: Urban Garden Center, 955 Kamehameha Highway
» Call: 453-6050
Members will be on hand to help visitors select the perfect rose plant and provide tips on rose gardening. Those who want even more help can attend "Rose Care in Hawaii," a workshop from 9:30 and 11 a.m. No registration is required, but go early to reserve a seat.

In the spirit of gardens, today's column features fresh herbs that can enhance home cooking.


1/2 pound bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound vermicelli

In skillet, fry bacon until lightly brown; drain and set aside. Put basil and garlic into food processor or blender; process or blend until finely minced.

In large bowl, mix half-and-half with eggs; add bacon, basil mixture and cheese.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; immediately add to egg mixture. Cover and let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and toss to coat pasta with sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Approximate nutritional information per serving (based on 4 servings): 680 calories, 22 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 155 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 86 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 34 g protein


1 pound ahi, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 teaspoons white peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 Maui onion, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced Belgian endive or head lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bottle (8 ounces) Italian dressing
1/4 cup honey

Sprinkle all sides of ahi pieces with 2 tablespoons of the basil, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper.

In skillet, heat oil and fry ahi about 30 seconds on all sides. Remove and cut into 1/4-inch crosswise slices. Set aside.

Soak onion and endive separately in iced water until crisp; drain. To serve, arrange endive, onion and ahi pieces on platter. Peel, seed and dice tomatoes. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, Italian dressing, honey and remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Pour over fish and vegetables; serve immediately. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 300 calories, 16 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 1,000 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 21 g protein

For more recipes from Hawaiian Electric Co., visit

CORRECTION: The correct date and time for the "Green Power" plant sale and workshop at the Urban Garden Center is 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 12. The "Electric Kitchen" column in a previous version of this column gave a different date.

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