Culinary herbs can can make a dish pop with flavor like no other fresh ingredients. They enhance meats, vegetables and grains to make any recipe you have taste so much better. Here are a few of the most popular herbs that are used in a variety of cuisines. You may already be using some in your favorite dishes.
About Culinary Herbs
Many of us use dried herbs that we’ve bought from the store. There’s nothing wrong with that. They are convenient and cheaper than purchasing fresh ones. We add them to recipes, marinades, salads and dressings. (Cooking Tip: To get the best taste from them, hold them in the palm of one hand and rub them back and forth with your other index finger. It can squeeze more flavors for your recipe.)
Better than that and cheaper still, is to grow your own herbs. Pinching a leaf or seeds at the peak of potency provides a very different taste experience from dried herbs. When are most herbs at their peak? It’s when they’re just about to bud. The flowers haven’t opened yet. This is the time to pick the leaves and enjoy them.
7 Top Culinary Herbs for Recipes You Can Grow
Here are some of the most common herbs used for cooking that you can easily grow for your own kitchen use.
1. Basil – The most common variety used is sweet basil. Pesto is made using basil. When tomatoes are present, don’t forget your basil, mozzarella cheese and olive oil.
2. Dill – This herb is, of course, used to make flavorful dill pickles. It’s often partnered other ingredients in vinaigrette dressings and mayonnaise-based dressings. Dill makes a great companion for fish and shellfish dishes.
3. Cilantro – Commonly used for South-East Asian and Mexican cooking, all parts of this herb is useful.
4. Oregano – A favorite Mediterranean herb that is often associated with Italian cuisine. You’ll find it on pizza, in spaghetti and pasta sauces. It’s one of the few herbs that tastes best when it’s dried. You can learn to grow and dry your own.
5. Mint – There are several varieties. It can be a stomach soother and a palette cleanser. Add a sprig of mint as a garnish on your plate for guests to nosh on between courses. Spearmint is a good choice for seasoning meats like lamb, It’s also delicious in drinks like ice tea.
6. Rosemary – Rosemary is used almost as often as oregano in Mediterranean cuisine. Its many sprigs have a pungent pine odor that pairs well with pork, poultry, oils, sauces and pizza.
7. Thyme – This herb is paired with egg and vegetable dishes as well as meats like poultry, pork and fowl. It’s often added in a mixture that contains oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley and savory.
Herbs can add more flavor than mixing in more salt, which can help you to easily lower your salt intake. There are many benefits to using freshly grown culinary herbs, from delightfully useful flavorings to healthy nutrition. Discover a world of new culinary delight by growing your own fresh herbs.