Wellness

Cooking with fresh herbs

January 10, 2016

Herbs can be divided in two broad groups, soft herbs and robust herbs, which will determine how they will be cooked.

Soft Herbs

Basil, chervil, chives, cilantro (coriander) and dill etc should not be cooked as they lose their flavour. Add raw chopped leaves at the end of the cooking process.

Robust Herbs

Bay leaf, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, sage and thyme etc can be added at the beginning of the cooking process to infuse the food and are often times removed before serving the dish.
There are many culinary herbs with medicinal properties that you should use to cook with on a daily or weekly basis. Enjoy cooking with them knowing they are supporting your immune functions as well.

  • Allspice
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Sage
  • Chervil
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon balm
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Tarragon
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaf
  • Chili peppers
  • Marjoram
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Anise
  • Fennel
  • Mustard
  • Parsley

Culinary inspirations with fresh herbs

1) Herb butters

They can be melted over grilled chicken, lamb, fish, bread and even corn.

  1. Blend together 250g of soft butter, a cup of soft herbs, with 1 finely chopped garlic clove and some grated lemon zest( optional ) and black pepper.
  2. Set in an ice tray or scoop onto cling film and roll around the butter to form a sausage shape, then twist the ends to seal. Use as desired.

2) Salsa Verde

This cold, rustic sauce is traditionally served with grilled fish, meat or pasta and is so easy to make.

  1. Chop together ½ cup flat leaf parsley, ½ cup basil leaves, ½ cup mint, ¼ cup chervil, 1/8 cup tarragon and ¼ cup chives.
  2. Add 1 chopped spring onion, 1 tablespoon small capers and 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard.
  3. Mix and then add the zest and juice of a lemon and olive oil.
  4. Cover and leave the salsa to develop some flavour for at least 30 min.

Stir just before serving.

3) Cook a Simple Syrup

  1. Add a big handful of fresh herbs to a basic mixture of equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil, stir, and then remove from the heat.
  2. Once completely cooled, strain out the herbs and use the simple syrup to sweeten iced tea, cocktails, fresh juices and anything else your heart desires.

4) Fresh Herb Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic sour cream
  • 3/4 cup organic yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Scallion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite fresh vegetables, pita bread, chips or crackers.
  2. Chill for at least two hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to develop.For salad dressing, stir in enough buttermilk until desired consistency is reached.

5) Create Your Own Herbalicious Salad (Reference: Herbal academy of New England)

Use this recipe as a guide in making a delicious herbal salad with the herbs, flowers, veggies, and fruits you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lettuce
  • 1 cup of your favorite veggies – yummy choices are cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper, brocoli, celery and pea pods
  • ½ cup of your favorite fresh fruit, tasty choices are apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, and oranges
  • 1 cup of fresh herb leaves such as lemon balm, mint, sage, anise hyssop, violet, and chickweed
  • ¼ cup edible flowers such as violets & pansies, nasturtiums, borage, and chive.
  • Herbal infused oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

    1. Carefully wash the lettuce, veggies, fruit, herbs, and flowers.
    2. Shred the lettuce and place into a bowl.
    3. Add the herb leaves to the bowl and toss with the lettuce to mix everything together.
    4. Chop the fruit and veggies into bite-size pieces and place into the bowl with the lettuce and herbs. You can toss everything together or simply leave the veggies and fruit on top of your lettuce/herb mix.
    5. Sprinkle your pretty flowers over the top of your salad.

Serve your salad with herbal infused oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. You can either toss all of these with your salad, mixing them to taste, or let people add their own!

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32 Comments

  • Reply Aria on January 10, 2016 says;

    Another great post dear P

  • Reply Aubury on January 10, 2016 says;

    I reckon you must be a herbal specialist. You have been posting a lot of great posts. I’m following them regularly

  • Reply Agnus D on January 10, 2016 says;

    Hi,

    You have been posting great mix of content here. I really admire your talent.

  • Reply Ambrosini Ami on January 10, 2016 says;

    Belle poste. très bien et grâce

  • Reply marilyn hirsch on January 10, 2016 says;

    I enjoyed reading this one. Have already printed it out for my reference. I will be trying these at leisure.

    Marilyn Hirsch, NC

  • Reply Priscilla on January 10, 2016 says;

    This is herbalicious 🙂

    I’m in love with each and every post of yours

  • Reply Maria on January 10, 2016 says;

    Herbal salads are the best. You have laid out not only a perfect guide for the herbal salads, but you have reminded all of us, that there is more to just salads, and its herbal salads. Its beyond health food. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply Dorothy on January 10, 2016 says;

    P, pat on your back. Love this one. These are great for lunch.

  • Reply Gabriella on January 10, 2016 says;

    These are great. My vote to create your own herbalicious salad… opens up creativity.

  • Reply Rachel Cotterill on January 10, 2016 says;

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried this before. Fascinating post. A great eye opener.

  • Reply Olivia on January 10, 2016 says;

    Cooking With Herbs; a great post! This is fantastic, and I hope all of us will start to move towards herbals slowly.

  • Reply Paulina on January 10, 2016 says;

    Salsa Verde!!!!! My vote!

  • Reply Vera Gottlieb on January 10, 2016 says;

    You are certainly good with herbals. A fantastic blog

  • Reply Cheri Roberts on January 10, 2016 says;

    I would love to try the first 2 recipes. Thank you, Cheri

  • Reply Shannon Gallegos on January 10, 2016 says;

    I can’t wait to keep learning more about the medical and hollistic side of things. It is so amazing how essential oils and plants can help with so many problems.
    Thank you

  • Reply Anetta on January 10, 2016 says;

    Looks like you took two good days to try our your salads and then post it out here. 🙂

    My vote also for the create your own herbal salad…. I’m sure, I’m going to do something nice. Thanks for the share and the tips.

  • Reply Kate Goodspeed on January 10, 2016 says;

    Now, this is what I call imagination. These are spot on for a healthy living. One of my New Year resolutions was to go herbal, and girl you are keeping me busy for the next 2 months for sure. You have a great blog, and I’m going to try each and everything out here. I will post feedbacks too.

    Thanks

  • Reply Katrina on January 10, 2016 says;

    I have been eagerly wanting to go somewhere or learn through an online course about herbalism!

    Your blog is now giving me the inspiration to do something in this field.

  • Reply Eliska on January 10, 2016 says;

    Authentic post

  • Reply Vicki from Kentucky on January 10, 2016 says;

    I am so excited to find this blog. Every article in this blog is a boon to us.

  • Reply Melissa on January 10, 2016 says;

    I am a self-taught herbalist and a student as well. The articles in this blog are all so to the point and fantastic. Bookmarked.

  • Reply Deborah on January 10, 2016 says;

    Just what I was looking for! Thanks!

  • Reply Bonnie on January 10, 2016 says;

    You have no idea how much I need this right now. Can’t wait to try! Thanks!

  • Reply Alexandra on January 10, 2016 says;

    I’m super excited to make this!

  • Reply Dee on January 10, 2016 says;

    Love the recipe! The herbal salad did not even occur to my brain. Awesome

  • Reply Katherine on January 10, 2016 says;

    I thought I was done cooking for the day – but this looks too good to pass up.

  • Reply jann on January 10, 2016 says;

    Can you add any more of such salads? These are very interesting. I love your blog!

  • Reply Kato on January 10, 2016 says;

    This is a fantastic post!
    I’d also be very interested to see a post with more different herbal salads, and the syrups.

  • Reply Holly on January 10, 2016 says;

    hello! Thank you so much for this recipe.
    I’m also following your spa series. Best ones I’ve seen on the internet!

  • Reply Samanta on January 10, 2016 says;

    This is wonderful post

  • Reply Tara on January 10, 2016 says;

    This is a energy packed blog. Where did you get this idea of the salad? It is simply superb.

  • Reply MICHELLE on January 10, 2016 says;

    These look great P!

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