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Adding flavour with herbs

Jane O'Shannessy – Coles Home Economist
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Adding flavour with herbs

Adding flavour with herbs:

Fresh herbs can be the secret to a great tasting dish and provide a good dose of antioxidants. Try basil, parsley, mint, coriander, dill, oregano, chives, rosemary and thyme, as well as some more exotic ones, such as kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves.

Handling:

Delicate leaves such as mint and basil, are best torn, unless you have a super sharp knife. Hardier herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary and dill are fine to chop. A sharp knife ensures the herbs are cut and not torn and bruised. Store them, stem end down in a glass of water, covered with a plastic bag. You can expect to keep them for 3-4 days.

Usage:

Parsley: There is curly, stronger flavoured or Continental or Italian parsley available, which has a flatter leaf. Parsley is a great all-purpose herb to use in pasta, salads, salads and egg dishes. The stems can be used to flavour stocks, soups and stews.

Coriander Best suited to Asian style, Indian or Moroccan dishes. It has a fresh almost lemony flavour. Use the leaves as a garnish or the whole stem in Thai cooking. The root is the most flavoursome part of the plant and is used chopped in Thai curry pastes. It tends to be quite gritty so wash well before using.

Basil European basil has a large flat delicate leaf that bruises quite easily. It’s beautiful strong aroma and flavour makes it a core ingredients in fresh sauces, such as pesto and great in salads and pasta dishes.

Mint The aroma and flavour of these delicate leaves is pungent and quite sweet, so best suited to sweet dishes. Mint gives lovely freshness to salads, drinks and Thai, Greek and Lebanese dishes.

Dill A strong, fresh almost aniseed flavour and aroma, it is a great addition to salads, seafood and cheese dishes.

Chives a relative of the onion family, it has a slightly milder flavour than spring onions. Chives are great in omelettes, in salads, with seafood, in sauces and dressings.

Oregano a soft leaf with a slight lemony flavour. It is particularly good in Mediterranean dishes- Greek and Italian with seafood, lamb and chicken.

Rosemary The whole stem can be added to soups and stews. It has a lovely robust flavour, which is great with lamb or chicken.

Thyme These tiny leaves are quite robust and whole sprigs can be cooked in to stews, soups and sauces.

Sage these long pale green leaves are quite strong in flavour, so use carefully. The flavour is best paired with chicken or pork. It is often added to butter sauces or used in stuffings or fried until crispy and used as a garnish.

Kaffir lime Leaves these beautifully fragrant leaves are often seen as Double leaves. Add whole to Thai curries or remove the rib and very finely shred and add to Thai salads.

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