Cooking with Herbs
Cooking with herbs is a matter of experience, good judgement, personal taste, and a grasp of the basics!
The flavour and strength of herbs varies according to freshness and soil quality, so it is impossible to lay down rules as to quantities and combinations: it depends on your palate. It is generally accepted, however, that dried herbs have a more pronounced flavour than fresh, and some, such as oregano and thyme must be used sparingly or they will overpower, rather than enhance, your cooking.
Using herbs and spices in dishes destined for the freezer also calls for restraint since the flavours increase in strength during storage.
|Chives||Chopped fresh leaves with soft cheeses; in salads, soups; in omelettes.|
|Chervil||Fresh leaves in “fine herbes”; in egg dishes, salads; soups; sauces.|
|Chives||Chopped fresh leaves with soft cheeses; in salads, soups: in omelettes.|
|Chervil||Fresh leaves in “Fine herbes”; in egg dishes, salads; soups; sauces.|
|Coriander||Fresh leaves in salads, especially carrot; seed in curries, chutneys and fresh leaf as a garnish.|
|Dill||Fresh leaves with fish: in sauces and marinades for fish; in soups, salads: with potatoes, courgettes, marrow; seed in pickles; in bread and cakes.|
|Fennel||Fresh leaves—with fish and poultry; with soft cheeses; seed with oily fish; in sauces, soups; in teas.|
|“Fine herbes”—French cuisine||Classic seasoning for omelettes and some sauces. Made from four parts snipped fresh parsley, to two parts each of chives, chervil and tarragon. Use it at once and add in the last minutes of cooking. You can also vary this mixture and use it to flavour softened butter or low-fat soft cheese.|
|Nasturtium||Fresh petals in green salads; with soft cheeses.|
|Parsley||Fresh leaves in bouquet garni; in soups, sauces, casseroles; in butters; in salads; extensively used as a garnish.|
|Sage||Fresh or dried leaves in stuffings with onion, for fatty meats; in sausages; with cheeses.|
|Tarragon||Fresh or dried leaves with poultry and fish; in vinegars, sauses, dressings; in omelettes and with mushrooms.|
|Watercress||Fresh leaves in soups; in sauces for fish; in salads.|
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup fresh basil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Finely grind or process pine nuts with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
- Add olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Process until well combined.
- Toss through hot pasta and serve.