While herbs are an integral part of many traditional dishes, sometimes it’s difficult to know what exactly to do with them. We’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to better incorporate herbs into your cooking so that you can enjoy their flavors and health benefits more often at sfsag.com!
1. Add dried herbs to your smoothies.
Herbs add a unique flavor that is impossible to duplicate with any other ingredient. They can be bitter, spicy, or sweet and lend themselves particularly well to combinations with fruits and yogurt. If you want to try adding them in but are unsure of the best way, add dried herbs into your next smoothie for an easy way to experiment. Be sure to only use a few tablespoons so the flavor isn’t overpowering, and look for herbs that compliment the fruit in your smoothie’s recipe!
2. Chop fresh herbs as a garnish before serving dishes.
Fresh herbs are an awesome way to add flavor without overpowering a dish. However, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out exactly how much you need, or how best to chop them. To maximize their flavor, chop the herbs when you’re ready to use them and set them aside for a few minutes as you cook. As the herbs sit out, their flavor will intensify and they’ll be more flavorful when you add them in!
3. Add fresh herbs to your salad dressing or sandwich spread
Adding fresh herbs to your dressing or spread will give you an additional layer of flavor. To prepare them for use, you’ll want to mince the herbs finely and mix with a little bit of the spread or dressing before applying it to your salad or sandwich.
4. Add fresh herbs to your smoothie blender.
Fresh herbs are great for cooking, but they can be equally good when added during the blending process! Adding fresh herbs during the blending process allows their flavor to infuse into your smoothie without changing its color. Some good choices for this include basil, mint, oregano, and rosemary!
5. Add a sprinkle of dried parsley or dill to your mashed potatoes while they’re cooking.
Whenever possible, try to add whole herbs to your mashed potatoes while they’re cooking. However, if you’re making a huge batch, chopping the herbs finely before adding them will ensure that there’s plenty of flavor without making your potatoes soggy and lumpy. The quality of the herbs you use is important too as many dried herbs are not as flavorful or as fresh as fresh herbs.
6. Add dried thyme or rosemary to your chicken or turkey marinade prior to adding them to the meat.
Dried herbs are much more potent than fresh herbs so use them sparingly! If you’re looking to impart a savory herb flavor to your meats, try mixing some dried herbs into the marinade. Fresh herbs will add color and flare while leaving behind their flavor as they cook with your meats.
7. Infuse oil with basil or other dried herbs using a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
You can make all sorts of delicious things by infusing herbs into oil. Infused oils will keep for about one week in the fridge, although the herbs might lose their bright green color after just a few days. They make for an excellent dipping sauce or salad dressing, as well as an easy way to spruce up grilled meat or fish!
8. Use them to make your own fresh salsa.
Instead of buying a pre-made salsa, try making your own. For this, start with finely chopped fresh herbs, ground chili peppers and garlic cloves. If the peppers aren’t very spicy, use jalapenos instead! Adding salt and lime juice at the end will help season it too. Once the mixture is ready, place it in a container and add additional chopped herbs if you wish! For best results, keep the container covered as much as possible during this process so that it retains as much flavor as possible.
9. Add fresh oregano and thyme to your marinade.
Take the time to chop up fresh herbs whenever possible, and use them in place of a more powerful herb such as oregano or thyme for your marinades. The fresh herbs will confuse your taste buds, making it easier for the flavors of the other herbs to come through. Fresh herbs are best used in dishes that cook quickly, such as grilled meat or fish. To add extra flavor, mix fresh herbs into your marinade before cooking.
10. Add fresh basil and parsley to your tomato-based dishes before serving.
Fresh herbs are best added to dishes that cook quickly, such as grilled meat or fish. To add extra flavor, mix fresh herbs into your tomato-based dishes at the very end of cooking. Fresh herbs don’t have quite the same texture as dried herbs in tomato-based soups and sauces but they contribute a similar flavor.
Herbs are a common ingredient in most cuisines and contribute an important aspect to many foods. They can be used in many ways and are especially great when used to flavor dishes before serving them. Our article will hopefully give you some ideas on how to incorporate herbs into your favorite dishes!