Let’s talk about fresh herbs. I use a lot of fresh herbs when I cook. During the summer I have some herb planted out on our deck. During the winter I buy fresh herbs that I can use. The problem is that the herbs I plant in my kitchen in flowerpots die on me. So I found a loop-hole to buying fresh herbs without buying the entire plant. In the online grocery store I use from time to time they have small bags of a variety of herbs that you can buy. I normally buy one bag of parsley, one bag of lemon thyme, and one of basil. Sometimes I buy other herbs as well, like sage, or rosemary and a variety of other herbs. It’s not always easy to know what herbs go well with what dish. But today I’m going to give you a few tips on what I personally use herbs for and how you can simply improve a dish by adding herbs.
Let’s start with basil. Basil is such an amazing herb, and I use it very often in my cooking. Basil goes well with tomato sauce, lasagna, pasta, pizza, but also with a variety of vegetables. When I cook Italian I always use basil. If I don’t have fresh basil I use dry basil. But I try my best to use fresh herbs as much I can. But when it comes to lasagna I actually prefer using dried basil for some reason but it’s perfectly safe to use fresh basil when you’re making lasagna. It’s just my personal preference to use dry basil when it comes to lasagna. Fresh basil is perfect for salads as well, in the salad, as a dressing, vinaigrette or as garnish. Fresh basil is perfect for so many reasons and you can use it for such a large variety of dishes.
Lemon thyme, well this particular fresh herb I’m in love with. I normally wash it, dry it with a paper towel and chop it up gently( not too much) before using it. I love the flavor of this herb. It has a distinct flavor, with a nice balance between lemon and thyme. I use this for almost anything I make. I like to mix it with parsley, oregano, rosemary, chop it up and use it as a herb rub on stakes, chicken, or tenderloins. Lemon thyme is perfect to mix with other herbs, and it still stands out with its lemon-thyme sort of flavor. I love how much flavor this herb gives, and even though it goes well with other herbs it’s also perfect alone as is. There is nothing bad to say about this herb what so ever. You can use it for a variety of meats, vegetables, and salads.
Parsley, Another spice I use on a daily basis. Parsley is perfect for anything and everything. I can use parsley in scrambled eggs, meat sauces, for pizza, pasta, potatoes, a large variety of vegetables, salads, rubs, vinaigrettes and it goes perfectly well mixed with other spices and herbs. Did you know that if you’re struggling with a garlic breath parsley is supposed to help? So, if you’re struggling with a garlic breath chew some parsley and it’s supposed to go away or at least get better. I love parsley and I use it on a daily basis.
Rosemary, I normally chop up rosemary and use it in a variety of dishes, or I tie up a few branches of rosemary and put into the potato water, or in the oven if I’m making lamb or oven roasted potatoes. I love the flavor that rosemary gives the meat and the potatoes. But not only can you use rosemary for lamb, you can also use it as a seasoning for chicken, stakes or roasted vegetables. My mom loves rosemary and she uses it a lot, even more than I do.
Chives, yet another herb I use often. I normally use it for scrambled eggs, but sometimes I mix it up with rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano and parsley and use it all as a seasoning mix for a variety of dishes that I make. Chives are also perfect as a garnish, it’s beautiful and it tastes delicious. It has sort of an onion flavor, yet it’s mild and not too distinct. I really love using it, and especially for our family breakfast because I always make scrambled eggs for our large family breakfasts. We haven’t had a large family breakfast in a while, but I know that the next one will most likely be on Thanksgiving.
Oregano, This herb is perfect for any Italian cooking. When I cook Italian I always use oregano. If I don’t have fresh oregano that I use dry. But it’s important to remember to always use way, way less dried oregano than fresh. The thing about oregano is that it can easily be too much and then your whole dish will taste like dried oregano, and believe me when I say, you don’t want that to happen. I’ve been there, done that and it was a complete disaster. But fresh oregano you can use more than you do when you’re dealing with dry oregano. But either way, Oregano is a beautiful seasoning to use and especially when you’re dealing with Italian cooking.
As I’ve mentioned above, I often like to mix certain fresh herbs together and use the mix of herbs to season a variety of dishes or use them in marinades, rubs, dressings or vinaigrettes. It’s such an easy way to get great flavors, and it gives the dish a lift, it makes it better in so many ways. But dry seasoning can do the same, and you can make your own seasoning mix with a variety of dried spices. I personally have never tried to make my own herb mix using dry spices. why? you might ask. Well, the answer is simple. I simply can’t afford it. If I were to buy 15 different spices to be able to make one spice mix that was to be my own, it would take time, and it would be expensive and way out of my food budget. But one day, I might make my own spice mix, but that day has yet to come. Buying 15 different spices would cost me about $105 and that’s way more than I’m willing to spend on spices at the moment. So, therefore, I use a lot of fresh herbs instead because it’s cheaper. I also buy some dry spice mixes like chili flakes, Tuscan spice blend and all around spice mix, because that’s also a lot cheaper than making my own dried blend of flavors.
This was today’s fresh herb talk with Hetty, I hope y’all have an amazing day and I hope to see you Y’all back here tomorrow for a new post.