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Cooking 101: Herbs

Asnow89 January 9, 2014 User blog:Asnow89

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Cooking101
Topicherbs

What is an herb?

Generally, herbs are any plants used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume. In the culinary world, however, herbs primarily refer to the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried).

Gallery of Herbs

There are dozens of types of herbs, but here are a few of the basic savory herbs to get you started.

Fresh Herbs vs. Dried Herbs

Fresh herbs are picked from plants. They are made into dried herbs by hanging bouquets of herbs for 1-3 weeks to dry them out.

Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor, so if you want to replace fresh herbs with dried herbs you should do it at a 3 to 1 ratio. Dried herbs are convenient and perfect for longer cooking times, but they can go stale and the flavor can fade. Make sure your dried herbs are still fresh by crushing a few to test the aroma.

Tips & Tricks with Herbs

  • Always store dried herbs in an air-tight container away from light and heat
  • You can toast dried herbs to enhance the flavor
  • Most fresh herbs lose their flavor if subjected to long cooking periods, so add them at the end of cooking.
  • Don't over chop herbs because it decreases the flavor. Tear herbs if you can (with leaves like basil and tarragon).

Recipes

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto-Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
Sauces
Herbs enhance any sauce. When you mix fresh herbs with flavors like garlic, yogurt, olive oil, onion, and more you get a fresh sauce that is packed with flavor. Here are some of our favorite herb-based sauces.

Recipes: Basil Pesto Farfalle with Roasted Pine Nuts, Cucumber-Apple Raita, Sun-dried Tomato Spread


Honey-Lavender-Lemon-Chicken
Savory Recipes
Finish off any recipe with a few fresh herbs, or slow cook your meal with dried herbs for an extra pop of flavor. Here are some great savory dinner recipes that feature herbs in the sauce or marinades.

Recipes:Chicken with Artichokes and Peppers, Curried Avocado Triangles with Fresh Mint Sauce, Lavender Lemon Chicken


Fresh-berry-napoleons-R074576-ss
Desserts

Herbs don't have to be exclusively savory- a lot of cakes, breads, cookies, and other desserts feature herbs! Here are a few fun savory-sweet recipes you can give a try.
Recipes:Berry Napoleons with Honey Lavender Cream, Frozen Cranberry Soufflé with Fresh Mint, Basil and Nectarine Bagel



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