All great chefs know how to use herbs in a variety of different ways to make food taste great. By using herbs, you add flavor without adding additional salt or fat. This means food can taste great and be good for you at the same time.
The first thing you should know is that growing fresh herbs is very easy, and once you have a few of your favorites, they can be added to your favorite foods. Herbs also can be used to flavor water or make tea.
The second thing you should know is that you really don't need a lot of space to grow an abundance of herbs. They can be grown in small pots but do better if planted directly in the ground. All you need is some good soil and lots of sun.
What you should know when cooking with herbs:
- One teaspoon of dry herbs is the same as one tablespoon of fresh herbs. Add dried herbs during the cooking process to help release their flavors. Add fresh herbs at the end of the cooking process, as they lose their flavor the longer they are cooked.
- Cooking with fresh herbs is simple and only limited by your imagination. Sure, there are traditional flavors that go well together, such as fish and dill, tomatoes and basil, turkey and sage, but you can experiment to find new and interesting combinations of flavors.
- Add chopped fresh herbs such as mint, basil or oregano to salads. Or chop finely and add to low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt for a great potato topping.
- Make a salad dressing by adding finely chopped herbs to vinegar and oil or buttermilk.
- Add fresh mint to water to make a refreshing, healthy beverage.
- Use the hard woody stems of a large rosemary bush as skewers for grilling vegetables, shrimp or chicken. The flavors from the stems infuse the meat and veggies.
- Use the fresh herbs in marinades for all types of foods. Mix fresh cilantro with lime juice, orange juice and some hot peppers for chicken. Try some fresh thyme or oregano mixed with a little oil and balsamic vinegar for portobello mushrooms. Or chop some garlic and rosemary with a little olive oil for some marinated shrimp.
- Use a mixture of dried herbs, paprika, salt and pepper tossed with diced potatoes and olive oil for fabulous baked fries.
- Make herb-flavored salts, vinegars and oils.