I’m a big fan of cooking with herbs. Whether they be fresh, or dry, they can bring so much flavor and life to your dishes. Below are some A-list herbs and my favorite ways to use them.
Mint is an herb that is used often in Mediterranean cuisine, and my Greek heritage has really drawn me to experiencing it’s wonders. This stuff grows like weeds in my parent’s backyard on Long Island. It’s fresh flavor really makes me think “summer”. If this were a post on “Herbs & Cocktails”, I would hands down have to mention a Mojito. But it’s not, so instead I will share a recipe for a yummy Bean Salad.
If used incorrectly, canned beans can really turn into a culinary faux pas. But, canned beans + a little TLC = a really easy, nutritious, and delicious meal or side dish. Here’s a recipe for a delicious Summer Bean Salad.
Basil, the go-to herb. Renowned, but definitely not overrated, this herb has endless possibilities in the kitchen. Pair it with sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella and a little drizzle of olive oil… BAM, instant appetizer. Puree it with Parmesan and pine nuts, and you have an awesome pesto.
I really enjoy the combination of basil and lemon juice. Here’s a recipe for zesty Greek Quinoa Salad.
The herb said to be draped around Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, rosemary is one of the most aromatically lovely herbs. I find no difference in using this herb fresh or dried. High heat helps unveil rosemary’s full flavor potential which makes it a great for oven roasting or baking.
For this herb, I’m going to go with an all time classic, Crispy Rosemary Potatoes.
Dill is another herb that my Greek upbringings have drawn me to. It adds a very distinctive taste whether it be used dry or fresh, although it is far more potent when used fresh. It’s hard for me to choose my favorite dill dish because I use it so often. My aunt Angie makes this salad that is so simple, yet perfectly tasty. All it is, is romaine lettuce chopped very fine, a bunch of green onions, a big handful of dill, olive oil, white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Topped with crumbled feta cheese and some kalamata olives, it is by far my favorite salad.
Dill also tastes great cooked with tomato sauce. Lima Bean & Artichoke Stew was a household staple growing up.
Thyme is a really nice earthy herb. It actually does really well when dried, and can be brought back to life when heated. It’s my favorite herb to roast vegetables with. Here’s a really simple recipe for Thyme Roasted Vegetables that even non-veggie lovers will enjoy.