Fresh herbs are a fantastic way to add subtle flavor to a dish or they can be used as boldly flavored garnishes and in sauces. Since herbs are quite perishable it’s best to use them soon after purchase. When you have fresh herbs on hand, don’t be afraid to experiment and try cilantro where you usually use parsley or combine several herbs for a deeper flavor. Here are some appetizing ideas and recipes with fresh herbs.
- Use fresh herbs instead of dried in your holiday stuffing recipe. Since dried herbs have a concentrated flavor, increase the amount called for in your recipe by two or three times when using fresh. Try Apple and Sausage Sourdough Stuffing featuring fresh sage or Mushroom Stuffing with Parsley and Mixed Herbs.
- Use fresh herbs to add flavor to roasted meats, such as Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast or Roasted Beef Tenderloin.
- Make a compound butter. While it has a special name, there’s nothing complicated about adding chopped fresh herbs to room temperature butter to create a flavored butter that you can spread on bread, whisk into pan sauces or use to top a steak fresh off the grill. Add fresh grated lemon or lime zest if you like, as in this Lemon, Garlic and Herb Butter.
- Woody herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano are intense so a little goes a long way. Add to sautéed mushrooms or caramelized onions for deeper flavor. Or add to Simply Roasted Spaghetti Squash for a boost of flavor.
- Infuse olive oil with herbs. Add chopped fresh herbs (heartier will work best here) to oil and set aside for flavors to blend until ready to drizzle on roasted potatoes or vegetables.
- Add fresh chopped herbs to a basic vinaigrette or bottled dressing to give it a fresh flavor. Or, stir into mayonnaise and create a unique sandwich spread. Try Shrimp Rémoulade to see how fresh herbs can add bright flavor to a mayonnaise base.
- Stir chopped basil, cilantro or parsley into store-bought items like chicken salad, coleslaw and steamed vegetables for a quick flavor boost.
- While pesto is great with summer basil, this time of year go for a unique flavor with our Salmon with Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto.
- Add several sprigs of thyme to a cup of honey. Cover and let sit a few days for the flavors to infuse then drizzle over crostini with ricotta or fresh mozzarella and figs for a delectable hors d’oeuvre.
- Bring flavor to your breakfast by adding fresh chopped herbs to scrambled eggs or an omelet.
How do you use fresh herbs to add flavor to your favorite dishes?