Culinary Herbs

Culinary Herbs, known also as potherbs, area wonderful addition to our cooking efforts.If you haven't used them very much before now is the time to try them out.

Use this chart to help you select which herbs you'll add to your recipe today. It outlines how to harvest and use them and indicates which type of dishes and recipes in which they are best to use them.

Use them picked fresh from the garden or indoor pot, dried, or fresh harvested and frozen in ice cube trays. Whichever use turns out to be your favorite way to use them, culinary herbs will a be great addition to any meal you serve.

Enjoy!

Culinary Herbs

Basil

There are more than 40 different varieties of this culinary herb. Very aromatic when raw, sweet and mild when cooked.

Used extensively in French, Southeast Asian, Italian and Greek dishes.

To use: Pull leaves from stems and wash well.

Use leaves whole, cut in shreds or chopped.

Snip into salads and stir fries.

Stir into softened butter, spread on toasted Italian bread and top with chopped tomato and basil leaves.

Top grilled or broiled swordfish or tuna with shredded basil and lemon or lime wedges.

Toss with sauteed zucchini or summer squash.

Add to meat loaf or meatball mixture.

Chervil

This herb teams with parsley, chives and tarragon in the classic French seasoning Fines Herbes. Its delicate flavour of parsley and mild anise make it a staple in French dishes.

To use: Pull leaves from stems. Wash well. Chop leaves or leave whole.

Add lavishly to salads.

Stir into beaten eggs before scrambling or making omelets.

Sprinkle on sliced tomatoes.

Stir into tartar sauce or other sauces served with fish.

Chives

Delicate onion flavor with a hint of garlic

To use: Rinse gently, if needed, just before using (they're delicate) Snip with kitchen scissors or slice.

Sprinkle over hot or chilled potato soup.

Stir into butter or cream cheese for a sandwich spread.

Snip into tossed salads.

Sprinkle on sauteed zucchini.

Top baked potatoes with butter or sour cream and a generous amount of chives.

Stir into biscuit mix.

Mix with mayonnaise and spread on fish before broiling.

Add to beaten eggs for omelettes.

Cilantro

Also called Chinese or Mexican parsley or fresh coriander. Common in Indian, Thai, Chinese and Mexican cuisines. Robust flavour of citrus and sage.

To use: Rinse just before using. Pull tender leaves off stems.

Use leaves whole or chop.

Stir into bottled salsa.

Sprinkle over black bean, lentil or ramen noodle soup.

Add to taco filling.

For a hearty salad, toss rinsed or canned black beans, canned or frozen kernal corn, chopped bell pepper and onion with vinaigrette dressing and lots of cilantro.

Mix with butter: use on vegetables or fish.

Dill

This culinary herb is a natural served with fish. Widely used in Scandinavia and the Middle East.

To use: rinse just before using. Remove fronds to use from coarse stems. Snip or chop.

Sprinkle generously over red cabbage or pickled beets.

Toss with buttered new potatoes.

Stir into potato, egg or tuna salad.

Toss cooked rice with with green peas, bottled oil-vinegar dressing and lots of dill. Serve warm or cold.

Stir into creamy horseradish sauce. Great with poached salmon or cold steak.

Add a generous handful to the dressing for seafood salad.

Stir into sauteed cabbage along with cooled noodles.

Marjoram & Oregano

Similar in taste, but marjoram is the sweeter and milder of the two. Traditional in Italian, Greek and Mexican dishes.

To use: Remove stems from leaves and chop.

Add to chili. (Oregano is a main ingredient in chili powder)

Toss olive oil, either herb and minced garlic with small potatoes before roasting.

Cook lentils with a sprig of either herb.

Add oregano and thyme to pot roast.

Sprinkle on before broiling.

Mint

Cool and refreshing. A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine.

To use: pull leaves from stem. Chop Leaves.

Toss with melon chunks and sliced oranges.

To make mint tea, pour boiling water over crushed stems. Let steep 1 hour. Sweeten and chill.

Add to Tabbouleh Salad (see Parsley)

Stir into pineapple, orange or lemon sorbet.

Use sprigs to garnish meat and fish platters and desserts.

Crush with garlic and salt, then mix with olive oil. Use to baste grilled eggplant and squash.

Toss with cubed tomatoes, feta cheese and oil-lemon juice dressing.

Parsley

Flat leaf (also called Italian parsley) has a more distinctive flavour and is better for cooking. Curly is best for cold dishes.

To use: Pull leaves from coarse stems and wash well. Chop leaves.

Tie 5 or 6 stems in a bundle.

Simmer in soups and stews.

Tabbouleh Salad: Toss prepared bulgar with lots of chopped parsley, along with fresh mint and diced tomatoes. Dress with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle a mixture of minced garlic, parsley and lemon peel on beef stew before serving.

Rosemary

Assertive with the flavour of pine.

To use: Run fingers down stems against growth to remove leaves. Crush or chop leaves.

Snip into marinades.

If you have an ample supply of woody sprigs, pull off the leaves and use the stems as skewers for tiny potatoes (first make a hole with a real skewer) or lamb or pork chunks before grilling. Mince leaves with garlic. Insert into slits made in leg of lamb or pork chunks before grilling.

Add to stuffing for poultry or fish.

Toss new potatoes with olive oil, coarse salt and minced rosemary before roasting.

Stir into cornbread or biscuit batter.

Sage

Strong, fragrant and earthy.

To use: Chop leaves or cut in shreds unless whole leaves are called for.

Saute thinly sliced onions and sage until limp. Stir in strips of lightly floured beef or calves' liver and cook until just done.

Stir into hot polenta along with shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Tuck leaves under the strings around a boned and rolled pork loin before roasting.

Mix strips with drained cans of tuna, canned white or black beans and vinaigrette dressing.


Tarragon

Aromatic with licorice (anise) overtones.

Go easy as this culinary herb tends to overpower. Used widely in French cooking.

To use: Pluck leaves off stems before chopping.

Add to cream sauces for poultry and fish.

Stuff sprigs under chicken skin before roasting.

Add to eggs before scrambling or making omelets.

Put a few sprigs in a bottle of white-wine vinegar. (Wait a few days for the flavours to blend) Use in vinegrette dressing for salads.

Add to mayonnaise and serve with fish.

Stir into softened butter.

Toss with hot green beans, peas or carrots.

Thyme


Slightly pungent, with a spicy clove-like taste. Creole and Cajun cooks use thyme by the handful.

To use: Remove tiny leaves from the woody stems by running two fingers over stems from top to bottom. Chop leaves. add to beef, lamb or veal stews.

Throw whole sprigs on hot coals when grilling meat, poultry or fish.

Add to home-fried potatoes while cooking.

Heat in apple jelly and use as a sauce with pork.

Add to peeled garlic to water when boiling potatoes. Mash with some of the cooking liquid and a bit of butter.



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