I've been a gardener for quite some time now (check out my gardening posts!) and that includes growing my own herbs each year, as well.

Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow, outside, inside, in pots, in the ground. Many are really rather hearty and do well no matter what. You just need to give it a try. You can start with a tiny little pot that has soil and seeds already inside - just add water and sun and watch them grow. You can buy a small pot, add some soil and seeds, find a sunny windowsill and wait for beautiful little green things to pop up. Once you have herbs grown, you'll be so happy you did it. There's nothing like fresh herbs for flavoring dishes.

Check out Gardener's Supply for lots of ideas and tools for growing your own garden, even if it's only a windowsill garden of herbs. They have what you need!

Now, once you have those herbs, here are three delicious and easy recipes for you to use them in, each pairing with a delicious Cabot cheese!

The first is cheesy herb-y rolls perfect for an appetizer or to serve with a meal. These are so easy you won't believe it!

Pesto Cheese Rolls
Pesto Cheese Rolls

Pesto Cheese Rolls
Makes 24

Ingredients:

2 sheets puff pastry - thawed
4 Tablespoons prepared pesto*
1/2 cup shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and very lightly grease two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Unfold pastry and spread 2 Tablespoons pesto on each sheet.
3. Sprinkle each pastry sheet with 1/4 cup of cheese.
4. Roll up tightly from the long end and cut each log into 12 even pieces.
5. Arrange rolls in prepared pans and top with Parmesan cheese.
6, Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.

Pesto Cheese Rolls
Pesto Cheese Rolls



*Homemade Pesto:

Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

Printable Recipe

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (you can also use a combination of your favorite herbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt as needed

Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and blend until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time). Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.
Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.
Process basil pesto until it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well. Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week, or freeze for a few months.




Zucchini-Cheese Squares
Zucchini-Cheese Squares
Zucchini-Cheese Squares
Makes 36 Appetizers

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 medium green onions - sliced thinly
1 clove garlic-minced
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Kosher salt,
1/4 t pepper

1 Tablespoon each fresh basil and oregano - finely chopped
3 cups shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar or other flavor

Directions:


1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and zucchini;
cook until all liquid is evaporated and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, mix eggs and remaining ingredients and add zucchini mixture.
3. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° oven for 30 minutes or until set when touched in center.
4. Let cool for at least 15 minutes and cut into small squares.
Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
Makes 24 mini peppers

Ingredients:

24 mini peppers
8 ounces Cabot cream cheese 
2 cups finely shredded Cabot Garlic and Herb Cheddar

1/2 cup Cabot sour cream
1 Tablespoon each finely chopped fresh basil and flat leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Set aside.
2. Set cream cheese in a bowl and allow to soften at room temperature.
3. Add cheese, herbs, salt and pepper and sour cream to cream cheese. Blend well.
4. Spoon or pipe cheese into pepper halves. Garnish with whole herbs if desired and serve immediately or chill, covered,  several hours until serving time.