Fresh Herbs are so simple to use and can really work some magic into your meal. Here are some of my favourite ways to use common herbs, but don’t be shy to try them in different ways.
In an ideal world we would all have fresh herbs in our gardens or in pots. No problem if you haven’t, most supermarkets stock fresh ones, washed and ready to use.
Basil – introduces a summer fragrance as well as flavour. It is divine added to a mix of roast baby tomatoes and boiled potatoes which have been coated in a decent olive oil. You can really use it in most dishes with tomato or cheese and its great with pasta.
Thyme – Another fragrant herb that goes well with so many foods. Use common thyme with red meats, root vegetables and soups. Try lemon thyme with fish, chicken or steamed veggies. An easy recipe is to steam broccoli with a few sprigs of lemon thyme. When its cooked top with some finely chopped lemon thyme mixed with grated parmesan.
Parsley – Possibly the most essential and versatile herb of all. To make an easy sauce simply melt some butter and add chopped parsley. Use it with veggies, grilled chicken or fish.
Sage – This herb has a strong, salty flavour, so use sparingly. Chopped it goes well with pork, some beef dishes, potatoes and is delicious with butternut.
Coriander – the herb you either love or hate – there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground! Excellent with most curries and spicy dishes. Try chopping it finely and mixing with natural yoghurt, use a dollop on top of your curry and taste the difference.
Mint – There are several types of mint to try. My favourites are spearmint or pineapple mint for sweeter dishes, punches and cocktails. Peppermint, indigenous mint or garden mint for savoury dishes. And then there is Eau de Cologne mint which is dreadful in anything!!
Aniseed – Here I mean the fresh leaves and flowers. Absolutely lovely with fruit or sparkling water. I also enjoy it with egg salad.
Rosemary – I only really add rosemary to rich red meats like lamb, beef or game. I find it too strong with anything else. You might like it, use sparingly!
Chives – Another herb that will compliment most meals. My absolute favourite is scrambled eggs (made with cream), finely chopped chives and smoked salmon served on whole-wheat bread.