Unfamiliarity with herbs keeps people from using them. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed taking one herb at a time and experimenting growing, cooking and drying it. Recently, we happened on some interesting information about herbs in a cookbook from my brother-in-law’s family. Here’s some basic information regarding the herbs we grow.
* Add herbs in small amounts, 1/4 teaspoon for each 4 servings. Taste before adding more.
* Always crush dried herbs or snip fresh herbs before using to release the flavor.
* If substituting fresh herbs for dried, use 3 times more fresh herbs.
Basil– Sweet warm flavor with an aromatic odor, used whole or ground. Good with ground beef, lamb, fish, roast, omelets, pesto, dressings, and spaghetti. The plant does not like cold weather.
Chives– Sweet mild flavor of onion. This herb is excellent in salads, fish, soups and potatoes. Delicious mixed in with sour cream. Easy to grow.
Dill– Both seeds and leaves of dill are flavorful. Leaves may be used to garnish or cook with fish, soup, dressings, potatoes and beans. Leaves or the whole plant may be used to spice dill pickles.
Mint– Leaves are aromatic with a cool flavor. Excellent in beverages, fish, cheese, lamb, soup, peas, carrots, and fruit desserts. Refreshing over mandarin orange slices. Different varieties exist. We grow spearmint. The plant can spread easily so best in potted.
Oregano– Strong aromatic odor, use whole or ground to spice tomato juice, fish, eggs, pizza, omelets, chili, stew, gravy, poultry and vegetables. Smells like pizza!
Parsley– Best when used fresh. Use as garnish or seasoning. Try in fish, omelets, soup, meat, stuffing and mixed greens. Varities include flat-leaf and curly. We grow flat-leaf.
Sage– Use fresh or dried. May be used in tomato juice, fish, fondue, omelets, beef, poultry, stuffing, cheese spreads, cornbread and biscuits.
Sorrel– A citrus flavored herb that resembles spinach and in some cultures is considered a vegetable. The taste becomes stronger as leaves mature. Young leaves can be used in salads or lightly cooked like spinach. Older leaves provide a tangy flavor to soups, stews and sauces. Especially used with fish.