Tiny as they are, herbs are enjoyable and easy to grow. Using them in your cooking allows you the possibility to change the flavors in your dishes in different ways. The freshest of them are great in soups, stews, vegetables, pasta, salads and breads.
Different kinds of herbs create different tastes in foods. If you are new to using herbs, work on them slowly, adding just a little at a time will help you adjust as you go along until you have it just right. As you get used to cooking with herbs, you will learn the best ones that can be associated with particular foods. Storing herbs is also not difficult. Even fresh ones will keep in the refrigerator for several days. But once herbs are frozen, remember that they would be best when only used in cooking and not as garnishes.
For instance, basil is paired with tomatoes, oregano with sauces, rosemary with roasts, and chives with butter or cream cheese. Although these herbs are not limited to these items, you will see them paired most often these ways. If you think oregano can be ideal for a particular food you have in mind, use your imagination and go for it. You never know your experiment will discover you a new-fangled recipe perfectly flavored with the herb.
You will also see that even the simplest meal may seem like a gourmet delight, no wonder why gourmets are masters in associating herbs with food. You can even make herb vinegar for your salad dressing and herb oils that you can use for recipes that call for oil. You can create your own robust-tasting marinades and herb-inspired spreads and rubs. You can make herb butter by mixing butter with minced fresh herb. You will find it fun using your own herb mixes every time you prepare a recipe that calls for vinegar, oil or butter. Really fun, isn’t it?
Imagine how fresh herbs can dress up any dish and make it spectacular-looking. Envision how you can lay individual sprigs of rosemary over your roasts, how you can garnish grilled fish with minced basil, and sprinkle chopped parsley over your potato salad. I like chopping a fresh herb and mix the green pieces in my pale salad dressing. The effect was awesome, and my salad entrée really turned out sparkling. With your own creativity, you can make endless combinations and delicious outcome.
In my little garden, I love growing basil, parsley, oregano, lemon balm, mint and a few others. Mint can over run your garden so growing them in individual cans to prevent the herb from “creeping” all through your garden is worthwhile. My wife makes an instant natural face mask using basil, lemon and avocados. She would pulverize a handful of basil by blending it on high, then throw in half of an avocado and a teaspoon of lemon juice. I tried the trick and there was nothing like an all-natural face mask fresh from my garden!
These are just a few ways you can use fresh herbs from your garden. There are still a lot of fun techniques of using herbs that you can learn for your own culinary style and recipes. But first, start planting your herbs.