Fresh herbs are a great way to liven up any recipe, from breakfast to dinner, and they certainly make it easy to add a touch of elegance to any meal.
Remember, fresh herbs are highly perishable, so plan to use them soon after purchasing.
Here are a few tips and recipe ideas for making the most of them right away.
- Swap in fresh herbs for dried in holiday recipes such as stuffing. Dried herbs have a concentrated flavor, so remember to increase the amount when using fresh herbs. Try Apple and Sausage Sourdough Stuffing featuring fresh sage or Mushroom Stuffing with Parsley and Mixed Herbs.
- Fresh herbs add a depth of flavor to roasted meats, such as Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast or Roasted Beef Tenderloin.
- Chop herbs finely to use in a compound butter. Simply mix them into softened butter and then either use the butter immediately on bread or meat, or form into a cylinder and wrap in waxed paper. Store in the fridge for up to a week and slice off as needed! Try this Lemon, Garlic and Herb Butter.
- Woody herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano have a lot of flavor 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.
- Infused olive oils are simple, delicious and make a great gift. Simply add chopped or bruised herbs to oil and let steep before using on roasted vegetables or pasta.
- 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 brighten up a mayonnaise base.
- Stir chopped basil, cilantro or parsley into store-bought items like chicken salad, coleslaw and steamed vegetables for your own spin and a taste boost.
- Pesto can actually be made with almost any green, not just summer basil. This time of year go for the unique 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. (Another great gift from the kitchen!)
- Bring herbs to your breakfast by adding fresh chopped herbs to scrambled eggs, an omelet or quiche.
How do you use fresh herbs to add flavor to your favorite dishes? Share in the comments!