Dating as far back as 13,000 B.C., cooking with fresh herbs have a long and varied history. Leaders were crowned with Dill in Greece and Rome; they also had a great impact with medicine and healing during that time. Today herbal medicines such as thyme continue to be a major part of homeopathic care.
Some of the best ways to cook with fresh herbs include, salmon with dill, eggs with chives, pasta sauce with basil, lamb with mint and the list goes on.
Even with alcoholic beverages, herbs are very popular; mojitos, mint julep, honeydew-basil spritzer just to name of a few. Herb infused drinks have really taken the cocktail market to a whole new level.
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My Favorite Ingredients for Cooking with Fresh Herbs
I want to share with you some of my favorite herbs for cooking that I use in my kitchen regularly. Scratch that. Let’s talk about my favorite herbs that my husband uses for cooking. I’m trying to keep it honest here people!
Chives – There is no better way to start the day than cooking with the fresh herb chives. Chives add that onion flavor to your dishes. I particularly love it on scrambled eggs and should just be tossed in at the last few seconds of cooking. They are a great topping to baked potatoes or in your favorite dip.
Rosemary – Rosemary is probably the herb we use most often in our kitchen. We use it on pizzas, with pork, on roasted potatoes with chicken or even in baking. It is very fragrant so use sparingly.
Oregano & Thyme – I clumped these two together as they are a great team. Cooking with fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme is a huge part of Italian and Greek cooking and used with just about any type of meat, pasta, in dressings or on pizzas. The possibilities are endless.
Tarragon – Not to everyone’s taste with the licorice flavor, tarragon is another fresh herb I love to cook with my eggs. It is widely used in France with fish and poultry and adds a unique flavour. It has a fairly strong flavour so be light with the hand.
Cilantro – A fairly new herb to me and although I love it, we usually only use it for cooking Tortilla Soup and when making Salsa. The only way to describe cilantro is lively and fresh. It is used in a lot of Mexican dishes and really brings a refreshing element to food.
Just a word about storing your fresh herbs; with such variety, storage of fresh herbs will vary some. Here are a few guidelines from SeriousSeats.com to help you with your storage questions and let you know how long your herbs will last.
They can be easily purchased fresh in small packets for a couple of dollars at your grocery store. This is a great way to try some variety with your cooking.
In the spring, we always have a herb pot with a variety of our favorites to snip from throughout the summer months. The next time you cook a stew, pizza, any sort of meat, eggs (essentially, the next time you cook anything) go online and research what herbs would work best with the meal you are making.
The most important point I’d like to make about herbs is; don’t be shy. Herbs are a great way to enhance your next meal. If you have any additional tips about cooking with fresh herbs, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section below!