Fresh Herbs Delight the Senses
Herbs and spices add wonderful depth and flavor to almost every dish. Cooking with fresh herbs enhances the taste of food. Their fragrance adds to the experience. There are many varieties of fresh herbs available at the farmers’ market this time of year: Basil, cilantro, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, sage, dill, mint, chives, and so much more. There are also many wonderful Asian herbs like lemongrass, pepper leaves, and Thai basil, just to name a few. Herbs and spices are often categorized together. However, herbs come from the leafy part of a plant while spices refer to the seeds and are always dry. Herbs fall into two categories: the ‘fine’ herbs, such as basil, chervil, rosemary and thyme, and the ‘robust’ herbs like mint, savory, dill and sage. Generally all herbs should be added toward the end of cooking. After cooking too long, they give a bitter taste to the food.
- Best when freshly picked.
- Some will keep up to 2 weeks when refrigerated and sealed in small plastic bags.
- Refrigerate basil and dill with stem or roots in water, covered with plastic. Most herbs rot quickly.
- Wash when you’re ready to use. If they’re wet, wrap in paper towel. Keep at room temperature until the leaves dry.
- When using for the first time, add small amounts to the recipe. If necessary, you can always add more.