Cooking aromatic herbs

Cooking aromatic herbs

Audrey Rouby

During this period, good hot dishes are welcome on our tables and to give them flavor what better than aromatic herbs. But do you really know how to use them in the kitchen? In this article we suggest you take a look at the most used aromatic herbs.

Laurel

Laurel is inseparable from many gourmet regional dishes. Bay leaves can be used whole or crumbled, fresh or dried. They are part of the bouquet garni, which has pride of place in the classic pot-au-feu and the famous petit salé with lentils. In general, bay leaf is perfect for flavoring sauces, soups, stews, meat marinades, but also game and fish. Ideally, we leave a bouquet garnished with 3-4 leaves in all our casserole dishes in order to perfume and bring a subtle herbaceous flavor. As an accompaniment, bay leaf is best paired with potatoes to give them the right amount of character.

Savory

Winter savory has a heavier and sharper pine aroma, while summer savory has a milder, more delicate taste. Often eaten dried, savory can also be found fresh. Savory leaves are so tender that they can be added to fresh salads or served to season chickens and meats with its peppery flavor. Add it to your soups to give them a little spice or more simply on a piece of goat cheese. In combination with herbs from Provence, savory brings out the best in stews or other vegetable dishes.

Bouquet garni

Using a bouquet garni is very easy. Simply immerse it at the start of cooking and remove it before serving the dishes. In the kitchen, it embellishes various traditional recipes. The bouquet garni gives a more pronounced flavor to stews, fish, broths, marinades, stews, vegetables, soups, broths, meats in sauce, etc.

Provencal herbs

The strength of Provence herbs is first of all the aromas that they exalt when combined with many products. Potatoes, onions, zucchini, tomatoes become more complex on contact with Provence herbs. Provençal-style tomatoes, cut in half and covered with breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, thyme and baked garlic have flavors inseparable from Provence herbs. Pies and soups take on Mediterranean colors when sprinkled with herbs. Sweet desserts and fruit are not left out: pears, figs, apricots when infused with thyme gain in subtlety and aromas. The opportunity during the summer to make a rustic apricot and rosemary tart.

Dill

This condiment is an element of choice for flavoring fish, red or white meats as well as salads. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, while the seeds are also used to flavor alcohols and some desserts. However, dill is an inseparable ally in dishes based on fish or cream. It should still be used sparingly, as this product has a strong flavor. In salads, dill goes very well with potatoes. Another idea for using dill is to mix it with goat cheese, lemon and salt on toasted toast accompanied by slices of smoked salmon.

Chervil

Chervil is usually eaten raw, especially if you want to enjoy its flavor. Thus, it is advisable to add it at the end of cooking so that the chervil does not lose its taste. It embellishes and flavors soups, sauces, salads or even dressings. Chervil adds a touch of aniseed flavor to raw vegetables, fish, omelets, but also to cold dishes. On the other hand, preparations with lemon should not be associated with chervil, as it will further strengthen the acidity.

Marjoram

Widely used in gastronomy, it has an exceptional scent and flavor that enhances the taste of a dish very well. Often used in Mediterranean cuisine, marjoram reveals its full flavor when heated in olive oil. It accompanies many foods such as eggplant, peppers, zucchini, grilled meat, tomato sauce or goat cheese. This plant is also used to spice up chicken, decorate a pizza, etc.

Lemongrass

It is the lemongrass bulbs that are mainly used in cooking and infusions, however, the leaves are not left out. Fish and meat can be macerated in lemongrass, before being put on embers.

Chive

A good chive can be recognized by its freshness, its green color and its smell. Chives are ideal in vinaigrettes, salads and raw vegetables, it can also accompany various preparations such as soups, cream soups or even sauces.

Coriander

A good coriander is distinguished by its green, fresh and unblemished leaves. It is generally used to flavor dishes made with fish, meat or poultry. Stews and soups are also subtly enhanced with cilantro. Dishes such as rice, sauces, marinades, tagines, omelets or salads taste better when you add cilantro. Used as a spice, coriander seeds are mainly used to flavor canned vegetables or pickles. They are also used for the preparation of carry.

Mint

A good mint can be recognized by its freshness and its many leaves without spots, not withered and very green. It is excellent in infusion, syrup or tea. Mint is also popular in drinks and liqueurs such as mojito or mint julep. It can flavor and enhance the taste of raw vegetables, tabbouleh, vegetables or even spring rolls. It is also used in fruit salads, in marinades or even in ice cream, sorbets and jams. It is appreciated as an accompaniment to meats (such as lamb) and fish.

Rosemary

Excellent in stews, marinades, fish and soups, rosemary is also interesting in meats, wine sauces, grilled meats and even stuffing. It is also used to flavor desserts such as flans, ice creams, creams, jams or even jellies. Don't hesitate to pair it with ganaches and dark chocolate. Macerated in red wine for a few weeks, rosemary is an excellent ingredient for a fortifying drink.

Thyme

Thyme offers more flavor when whole, rather than crumbled. If you pick the plant yourself, there's nothing like morning picking for the optimum amount of essential oil.

Basil

To prepare the basil, you must choose the one whose leaves are smooth, very green and above all without spots. This plant is generally used to flavor dishes or to season. It enhances the taste of pizzas, pasta, meats (pork, chicken, veal, beef, etc.) and salads. Basil is also great for sauces and soups. It also helps promote digestion and is prepared as an infusion (a teaspoon for a cup of boiling water).

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