As you probably know that I love cooking with herbs and that I believe in the power of healing with herbs. But I notice that a lots of people do not like to cook with herbs because they are not sure how to cook with them or that they are afraid that they will not have the right tasty combination to add to their meal. I can understand how they feel because I was one who was only a salt and pepper type of cook. Once I was able to overcome my fears of cooking with herbs, I started to rely on them more and use salt and pepper less. For those who want to take this cooking herbal adventure, let me share with you five tips that can help you to start making herbs as part of your culinary repertoire.
5 Tips Cooking with Herbs
1. Familiarize yourself with the most commonly used herbs and spices and how they are typically incorporated into various international cuisines. Learning the seasonings and other ingredients they're combined with in these cuisines makes a good starting point for deciding on your own pairings. Example: Italian cooking features an abundance of basil, oregano and garlic, as well as parsley, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, thyme and fennel seeds.
2. A general guideline when using fresh herbs in a recipe is to use 3 times as much as of a dried herb. When substituting, you’ll often be more successful substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs, rather than the other way around.
3. Purchase herbs close to the time you plan to use them. When growing herbs in your own garden, the ideal time for picking is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets hot. This helps ensure the best flavor and storage quality.
4. Add more delicate herbs a minute or two before the end of cooking (the last approximately 20 minutes) or sprinkle on just before serving. Delicate herbs are cilantro, chives, dill leaves, basil, mint, parsley and if you place them into the dish before cooking then you may not get the full flavor of these herbs. Another thing is that delicate herbs may lose their flavor more of their flavor when dried. Less delicate herbs include: Oregano, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
5. Lastly, learn what herbs works well with certain dishes and foods. Don’t bother putting mild-tasting herbs, such as dill or tarragon, in a robust dish, or their flavors will simply disappear. Likewise, don’t use strong-tasting herbs and spices in a dish where a certain mild ingredient should be the focus. An omelet, for example, will benefit from the mild flavors of chives or dill, but could be ruined with powerful rosemary or garlic.
For further cooking with herbs ideas, make sure you subscribe to the Living Healthy Movement Quarterly Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. Now that you have these herbal cooking tips, it is time to start cooking!
Henneman, A., & Kinsey, J. (n.d.). Fresh Herbs: a Picture of Healthy Eating. In Healthy Cooking with Fresh Herbs. Retrieved from University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension website: http://food.unl.edu/documents/Fresh%20Herbs%20updated%202013.pdf
Thomas, J. (2015, September 3). How to Match Food With Herbs and Spices. In Food & Drink. Retrieved from ehow website: http://www.ehow.com/how_2138818_match-food-herbs-spices.html