Cooking with Herbs
Few things make me feel more accomplished than being able to use my garden-grown produce when cooking. There’s something about it that makes me feel proud (and more like an adult, if we’re being completely honest). When cooking, I like to go off of smells to create my culinary artwork, but have realized when people ask for recipes I have no idea what to tell them. That’s when I decided to take some notes about the different herbs and spices I use when cooking. This blog post is a list of some of the herbs I use most, noticeable flavors/smells in each, and some suggested dishes/pairings.
Cilantro is a very controversial herb. It actually surprises me how much people either love or hate this herb. I love it. I will put it in nearly anything.
*Flavor Notes: bright, citrusy, clean
*Suggested Parings: Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese
Basil is another herb I use frequently. It has such a mellow taste that, again, you can use it in almost anything.
*Flavor Notes: peppery, hint of sweet
*Suggested Pairings: tomato dishes, pesto, pizza, pasta, Mediterranean
Yes, you can use it in more than making pickles, although dill pickles are my favorite.
*Flavor Notes: tangy, clean, earthy
*Suggested Pairings: fish, creamy dips
Thyme is a fun one to pair with other herbs. It does a really good job at adding a little somethin’ to the other herbs.
*Flavor Notes: lemony, peppery
*Suggested Pairings: nearly all meat, fish, poultry, or veggie; basil, sage, oregano, or marjoram
Rosemary has a very strong flavor, but works well with a variety of foods.
*Flavor Notes: piney, pungent
*Suggested Pairings: soups, grilled meats (esp. pork or poultry), infused oils, potatoes
Fun Fact – oregano was used as a general well-being tonic.
*Flavor Notes: sweet, spicy (a great blend)
*Suggested Pairings: Mediterranean, pasta, pizza, roast beef
We all know mint is a wildly popular herb. It helps with so many health issues, as well. Plus, it adds a refreshing tone to many foods (and drinks).
*Flavor Notes: cool, peppery
*Suggested Pairings: Desserts, cocktails, teas, Thai, fruit dishes
Are there other herbs that you love to cook with? Do you have a favorite recipe that utilizes fresh herbs? We’d love to hear from you!