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14 February, 2018

Herbs and How They Are Used

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Herbs and their uses is a tad off topic for my blog on desserts you say?   However, they are very important to cooking any dish you can imagine.  I want to give you a guide on what herbs to use with various foods and how they compliment them.  I am only touching on a few of the most popular ones in this article.  Spices are also a important and some are used in desserts.  This blog will focus on herbs and my next blog will focus on spices.

Sage – Sage is a shrub type plant that is a close relative of the mint family with a pleasant aromatic odor.  It has a warm and slightly bitter taste.  Sage compliments stuffings, pork roasts, sausage, poultry and hamburgers.  Sage comes in different forms such as leaf, rubbed and powdered.



Fennel –  Fennel is a dried fruit of herb in the parsley family.  Fennel consists of a tiny yellowish-brown seeds with a licorice flavor.  Fennel tastes good in soups and will also compliment fish dishes, sauces, sweet pickles, bread and rolls.  It comes in whole or ground.


Fennel Seeds

Tarragon –  Tarragon has a pungent flavor resembling licorice.  Tarragon will add to fish, sauces, egg and cheese dishes, green salads, pickles, vinegar, chicken, tomatoes, and sauces for meats and vegetables.  Tarragon comes in either whole or ground.



Thyme – Thyme is a member of the mint family also.  It has short brown leaves and has a warm aromatic odor, pungent flavor.  Thyme is typically used in soups, clam chowders, stuffings, beef, lamb, veal and pork dishes.  It is also used for oysters, eggs, cheese, bean and vegetable soups and fish.  Thyme comes in whole or powdered.



Parsley – Parsley is very often used as a garnish in various dishes.  Parsley can also be eaten and is chewed to give you fresher breath.  Parsley is a tiny green leaf growing in clusters on a low plant.  Parsley has a mild and slightly tangy flavor.



Dill – Dill is commonly known as its use in dill pickles, but dill is used in many other ways.   It is a member of the parsley family and has a very aromatic odor with a delicate caraway flavor.  Dill will compliment many dishes, including, fish, cream and cottage cheese, potatoes, fish and vegetable salads, pickles and tomatoes.  You can find dill in whole or ground forms.



Basil – Basil is a member of the mint family with leaves 1-1/2 inch long.  It has a mild aromatic odor with a warm sweet flavor and a slight licorice taste.  Basil is best with tomatoes, peas, squash, lamb, fish, eggs, tossed salad, cheese, duck, and potatoes.  Basil is found in whole or ground forms.



Oregano –  Oregano is also a member of the mint family with light-green leaves and a strong aromatic odor.  It has  a pleasantly bitter taste.  Oregano is used with tomato sauces, pork and veal dishes, pizza, vegetable and fish salads, chili.  Oregano is available whole or ground.



Rosemary – Rosemary is a relative of the evergreen shrub with the appearance of a curved pine needle.  It has an aromatic odor with a slightly piney taste.  Rosemary tastes good with poultry, stuffing, veal and lamb roasts, potatoes, cauliflower, fish and duck.  It is available in whole or ground forms.



Mint – Mint is a very popular herb.  Mint whether it be spearmint or peppermint, has a strong sweet odor and a tangy cool taste.  Mint is used in jellies, fruit juices, candies, frosting, cakes, pies, lamb, ice cream, potatoes, peas and chocolate desserts.  Mint comes in a variety of ways, whole (dried), flaked or as fresh sprigs.  Mint is also good in tea.



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