How To Cook With Herbs?

Published at: 31.10.2022 16:27

cooking with herbs

Herbs can be used not only as a remedy for their medicinal effects, but also added to dishes! This is a great way to get their health benefits while enjoying an amazing meal! It doesn’t matter if the herbs you add to your dish will be fresh or dried, it’s a great, healthy way to add flavor. People have been using all of these herbs since ancient times, due to their beneficial properties for human health, and we continue to do so to this day! In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to cook with herbs.

What are herbs? How are they different from spices?

Herbs are the parts of any plant, that being its seeds, leaves, or flowers, which people are using for medicine, making perfumes, or flavoring food. Of course, if you are looking to reap the health benefits of these remarkable compounds, you have to consume them fresh. In this state, they have more antioxidants, than after being processed. This is why when you cook with herbs, the rule is to add them last, as this way their beneficial properties will remain intact. However, if you are using dry herbs, then make sure to add them to the dish early in the cooking process, because they need time to rehydrate and bring out their flavors. 

The difference between herbs and spices is very simple – they are made from different parts of plants and prepared in distinct ways. A herb comes from the green, leafy part of the plant, while spices are processed from the root, seeds, stem, fruit, flower, or bark of the tree or plant.

How to cook with Herbs?

As you may already have guessed, not every herb goes well with every dish. Because they all have very distinct and some even intense flavors, you have to know what herb goes well with specific foods. Here is a helpful list, with which you can orient yourself better.

Meat types:

  • Beef goes well with garlic, rosemary, sage, oregano, coriander, celery, and thyme.
  • Chicken tastes good when you add oregano, garlic, coriander, marjoram, and tarragon.
  • Pork will be excellent with garlic, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage, and thyme.
  • Turkey goes well with basil, cumin, rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme.
  • For fried fish, you can add oregano, sage, and tarragon.
  • For grilled fish, add coriander, rosemary, fennel, and thyme.

Furthermore, you can add these herbs to these specific dishes:

  • Rosemary: potatoes, fish, poultry stuffing, cauliflower.
  • Basil: tomatoes (or tomato sauces), potatoes, eggs, lamb, fish, cheese, tossed salad, pasta, peas.
  • Mint: freshly squeezed fruit juices, sweets, jellies, cakes, pies, pork, potatoes, peas.
  • Bay leaf: tomato sauces, vegetable and fish soups, poached fish, and meat stews.
  • Marjoram: pork, fish, roasted chicken, beef, vegetable soups, cheese dishes, stew, stuffing.
  • Oregano: pork, pizza, tomato sauces, vegetable, and fish salads.
  • Parsley: any meat, eggs, vegetables, soups, and cheese.
  • Dill: fish, tomatoes, potatoes, cream and cottage cheese, vegetable salads, pickles.
  • Sage: roasted pork, sausages, stuffing, poultry, and hamburgers.
  • Savory: eggs, meats, salads, soups, and stuffing.
  • Thyme: eggs, beef, fish, soups, stuffing, pork dishes, cheese, and vegetable soups.
  • Tarragon: eggs, fish sauces, tomatoes, cheese dishes, green salads, pickles, chicken, sauces for meats and vegetables.

You should always pay attention to the color and brightness of herbs when buying them. The more vibrant the color is, the better! Also, do not forget that if you want to reap the health benefits of herbs, they need to be consumed as fresh as possible!

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