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Cooking with Herbs

Using fresh and dried herbs is a creative and healthy way to liven up the flavors of your meals. Herbs can be used in a variety of ways to give a variety of flavors. They can be especially helpful to people who are on restricted salt or sugar diets, adding flavor and palatability to what might otherwise be a bland diet. Here I'll show you how to use herbs in many different ways: fresh, dried, frozen, as well as how to use herbal oils and vinegars. There's also a table showing some of the different herbs that can be used with different foods.

Fresh Herbs
If you have your herb garden outside your back door like I do, or have herbs growing in pots in your kitchen, you can easily add fresh herbs to all your meals. Snip off a sprig or two, then strip off the leaves. Rub them between your fingers to bruise them, then mince with a very sharp knife. Usually for fresh herbs you want to use about 1 teaspoon for every two servings. If you are using the herbs in something that cooks for along time, such as soup or stew, add the herbs only in the last 20 minutes or so to prevent them from turning bitter. If, on the other hand, you are using them in something that does not cook, such as a salad dressing, let it sit for an hour or two so the flavor will pervade the dish. You can keep bouquets of fresh herbs in water in jars in the refrigerator. (Back to Top)
Dried Herbs
Dried herbs are readily available at supermarkets, or you can dry your own. If possible, try to store them whole, and crumble them only when you are ready to cook them. Use about half the amount of dried herbs as you would of fresh, as the flavor is more concentrated. Use a small coffee grinder for larger spices such as allspice or nutmeg; a mortar and pestle works well for smaller seeds and leaves. You can soak dried herbs in warm liquid (broth, oil, or water, for example) before adding them to the dish to intensify the flavor. (Back to Top)
Frozen Herbs
Most herbs can be successfully stored frozen; in fact, for some freezing is a better alternative than drying. Parsley, for example, loses most of its flavor when dried. Toss frozen herbs right into the pot when cooking; defrost and drain beore using in salads or other uncooked dishes. (Back to Top)
Herbal Vinegars and Oils
Use flavored oils if you are dieting; the extra flavor allows you to cut back on the amount of oil you use without noticing. Oils can be used to saute with, or in salad dressings and marinades. Use vinegars also in dressings and marinades, or to deglaze the pan after sauteing. (Back to Top)


 
Dry BeansGreen BeansBeefBroccoli
Cumin
Garlic
Mint
Onions
Oregano
Savory
Basil
Caraway
Dill
Marjoram
Mint
Savory
Basil
Bay Leaf
Caraway
Garlic
Ginger
Marjoram
Onion
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Basil
Garlic
Lemon Balm
Sesame
Tarragon
Thyme
CarrotsChickenCornEggs
Anise
Basil
Dill
Chives
Ginger
Thyme
Anise
Basil
Bay Leaf
Chives
Dill
Garlic
Marjoram
Onion
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Saffron
Chervil
Chives
Lemon Balm
Saffron
Sage
Thyme
Anise
Basil
Cayenne
Chives
Savory
Tarragon
FishFruitMushroomsPeas
Anise
Basil
Dill
Chives
Fennel
Garlic
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Saffron
Savory
Tarragon
Anise
Cinnamon
Ginger
Lemon Balm
Mint
Rosemary
Coriander
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary
Tarragon
Thyme
Caraway
Chervil
Chives
Mint
Savory
Thyme
PorkPotatoesRiceSpinach
Anise
Caraway
Garlic
Ginger
Rosemary
Sage
Basil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Fennel
Garlic
Marjoram
Onion
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Basil
Fennel
Onion
Saffron
Tarragon
Thyme
Basil
Chervil
Chives
Dill
Garlic
Rosemary
SquashStuffingTomatoesTurkey
Basil
Cinnamon
Dill
Marjoram
Rosemary
Sage
Garlic
Onion
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Basil
Bay Leaf
Chives
Dill
Garlic
Marjoram
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
Savory
Tarragon
Thyme
Basil
Garlic
Onion
Saffron
Sage
Tarragon

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