Truth be told, I avoid Los Angeles like the plague, and I only live 90 minutes away. First reason: the oppressive traffic (Seriously? Only two lanes on the I-5 with construction that hasn’t budged since the last time I passed through two years ago?) Second: There’s only one topic of conversation: “The Industry.” Third: The type of car you drive automatically dictates your social position. (Ten years ago I was openly mocked at a valet station for having a station wagon.) Nonetheless, a family get-together had me planning a weekend in L.A. and, naturally, I intended to eat my way through it!
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I can’t be around sage leaves without manhandling them. Rubbing a few suede-like leaves between my fingers is like my own personal herbal perfume for the day. Fresh basil in the summer; smokey thyme in the fall; piney rosemary in the winter. Fresh herbs make me want to cook, including in the raw, like ripe summer tomatoes with a sprinkling of mint, basil, or chives; a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar or spritz of lemon, and a little sea salt. Add a tear of crusty bread. Done: perfect summer snack. Here, 20 recipes to inspire you with fresh herbs.