How To Use Fresh Herbs In Your Everyday Cooking

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How To Use Fresh Herbs In Your Everyday Cooking

Looking for ways how to use fresh herbs in your everyday cooking? I’m a chef who has been using these ingredients my entire career and has found that they make food taste better than if you had just used dried herbs.

If you’re not confident about how to use fresh herbs in cooking, or you want to expand your fresh herb cooking repertoire you’re in luck. In this blog, I’ll give you a chef’s insight on how I use fresh herbs in my everyday cooking.

I have found cooking with fresh herbs is a surefire way to add color or a fresh vibrant zing to your food. The first step is knowing what fresh herbs go well with what foods and with which dish.

Using fresh herbs can really elevate an otherwise ordinary dish into something special without having to work too hard at all.

Fresh garden herbs are fantastic and can be used in several ways, salads, sauces, meat, and pasta dishes, herbaceous flavored oils, pestos, and much more.

Add them to food at various stages of the cooking process or incorporate them into marinades and flavor bases. Even add them raw into salads, sprinkled onto finished dishes, or used as a flavorful, aromatic garnish!

The use of fresh herbs in your everyday cooking can be a healthy delicious addition and their uses are limitless! Just as important is knowing when should you add fresh herbs to cooked dishes.

Fresh herbs like thyme, mint, basil, and coriander aka cilantro work well as salad components, they’ll add a pop of flavor.

There are the classic matches – potatoes with rosemary, roast chicken with fresh thyme, slow cooked pork with sage, fettuccini with fresh basil, and many other combinations.

If you’re looking for something to spice up your fresh vegetables try finely chopping rosemary, thyme, and mint. Toss them through the vegetables after they’re cooked to add a fresh herbaceous hit that will smell and taste amazing!

Limitless Ways On How To Use Fresh Herbs In Your Everyday Cooking

Let us take a look at seven popular fresh herbs that are available in most grocery stores and supermarkets. You could even be growing some or all of these herbs in your very own garden. These are the herbs I have grown up with and use in my everyday cooking at home and at work.

 

Thyme

Fresh English Thyme
Fresh Thyme

Thyme is one of the most popular herbs used for cooking. It’s versatile and fragrant with an amazing taste. The earthy-sweet flavor can be added to almost anything.

You can use fresh thyme to season or marinate meats, poultry, seafood, and green or root vegetables. Thyme leaves are also edible on their own so they complement salads and can be added to finished dishes for an aromatic garnish.

When baking beetroot, add sprigs of fresh thyme to the beetroot before cooking to add a subtle sweetness that will impress everyone!

With its subtle flavor, you don’t have to worry about using too much when cooking with this ingredient.

Best added at the start of the cooking process or as a garnish.

Roasted Beetroot and Feta Salad with Black Truffle Mayonnaise

Roasted Beetroot And Feta Salad With Black Truffle Mayo

Fantastic dish using fresh thyme, giving the salad a natural herb infusion that complements the beetroot and feta. Awesome idea for using fresh thyme.

Rosemary

Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Rosemary

Rosemary is a staple herb in many kitchens, It has a distinct, earthy flavor that adds depth to any dish it’s added to.

Rosemary is best used fresh, it can be rubbed or inserted into lamb, beef, or chicken to add a new sensational taste dimension.

When you’re roasting potatoes pound some rosemary and garlic in a mortar and pestle to release the rosemary oil, mix with your potatoes before roasting, for a flavor burst!

Next time you’re having a barbecue or grilling steaks – get a large sprig of rosemary, dip it in a little olive oil and brush it over your grilling meat, to give it a delicate rosemary emulsion.

Best added at the start of the cooking process or finely chopped as a garnish.

Easy Weeknight Mustard And Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Easy Weeknight Mustard And Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Marinading boneless chicken thighs with fresh rosemary and wholegrain mustard is a surefire way to impress the family.

Sage

Fresh Sage
Fresh Sage

Sage is an underrated herb with a distinctive aromatic flavor that enhances pork and chicken, next time you’re roasting a whole chicken try a sage and onion stuffing for a herby hit!

Mixing sage and orange zest together and rubbing it over pork is one of the best ways to add an aromatic zesty taste to the pork.

Sage is best used in cooking for the reason that the leaves have a robust flavor and can seem out of place when added raw to completed dishes.

Best added at the start of the cooking process.

3 Steps To Master The Perfect Roast Chicken

3 Steps How Best To Roast A Whole Chicken

Fresh sage and chicken are partners, adding sage and butter under the skin of the chicken before cooking has a profound flavor explosion in your mouth!

Cilantro aka Coriander

Fresh Coriander aka Cilantro
Fresh Coriander

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs; I love adding it to fresh salsa with some lime juice and fresh tomato. Cilantro is a common herb used in many recipes and dishes.

It has a distinctive almost citrus flavor that can be described as pungent, citrusy, and aniseed all at once. This herb is native to regions such as Mexico, India, China, and Southeast Asia which means it’s commonly found in Asian cuisine such as Vietnamese and Thai food!

Cilantro is a great addition to pork, chicken, and duck dishes. Also is an excellent ingredient in a salad or as a colorful delicious garnish.

Best added near the end of the cooking process or as a garnish.

Fresh coriander root has an intense flavor and is excellent smashed or ground and added to sauces, soup, and pastes and should only be added at the start of the cooking process.

My Effortless Crispy Skin Pork Belly

Effortless Crispy Pork Belly With Pumpkin Ginger Puree

Cilantro is a fantastic partner with spicy foods. Adding cilantro to a salad with fresh chili and pork belly will add that extra level of flavor to complete your dish.

When Should You Add Herbs To Cooking?

There are three general times when you might want to add fresh herbs to your cooking: at the beginning of the cooking process; near the end of the cooking process; or as a finishing touch.

Adding fresh herbs at the beginning of the cooking process is a good way to infuse flavor into your dish from the start. Adding fresh herbs near the end of the cooking process will add a refreshing zing.
Using fresh herbs as a garnish or finishing touch will add color and a fresh herbaceous aroma and flavor.

Chives

Fresh Chives
Fresh Chives

Chives are an awesome herb to add flavor, texture, and color to dishes. The taste of chives is similar to that of onions and garlic but with a milder flavor.

I love using chives, they add a healthy cleansing taste to my dishes. Chives are fantastic with just about anything and should be added to finished dishes. Cooking chives they lose their flavor.

Mixing chives, cottage cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper to make a tasty salad topping to rival any restaurant.

Best added near the end of the cooking process or as a garnish.

My Wild Kingfish Carpaccio

Wild Kingfish Carpaccio

Adding freshly sliced chives to raw kingfish gives the clean taste of the fish a level of professional culinary skill to the dish, that will amaze your family and friends!

Basil

Fresh Basil
Fresh Basil

A lot of people think that fresh basil is just for Italian dishes, it’s true that it does taste great in pasta dishes or scattered over a pizza. It also tastes amazing when paired with tomatoes, root vegetables, chicken, beef, or fish.

The initial taste of this aromatic herb has pronounced hints such as peppermint or anise; with a subtle sweetness.

Think about adding some freshly sliced basil to your next salad dressing! Basil has a strong flavor so you don’t need much to make an impact on the dish. You can even use basil in desserts like basil gelato!

Best added near the end of the cooking process or as a garnish.

My Striploin Steak Salad With Balsamic Dressing

Striploin Steak Salad With Balsamic Dressing

Basil is an awesome salad ingredient it is a delicate delicious fresh herb that can be both sweet and savory.

Mint

Fresh Mint
Fresh English Mint

Mint is a refreshing herb that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a cool, refreshing taste. Fresh mint is available year-round, but its flavor is most intense in the spring and summer.

Mint can be used to add flavor to salad dressings, desserts, and meats like lamb, pork, or chicken. Additionally, mint is a common ingredient in cocktails and can be used to make delicious iced tea.

In order to get the most out of this versatile herb, it’s important to use fresh mint whenever possible. It is also a popular choice for garnishing dishes.

Best added near the end of the cooking process or as a garnish.

Grilled Lamb Cutlets Persian Saffron

Grilled Lamb Cutlets Persian Saffron Dijon And Mint

Grilled lamb cutlets, mint, and Persian saffron. A flavor combination that has been used for hundreds of years. Adding fresh mint to lamb brings out the sweetness of the meat.

How To Store Fresh Herbs

Have you ever purchased fresh herbs from the grocery store, intending to use them in your recipes that week, but then they go bad and you have to throw them away? It’s so frustrating!

When you know how to store fresh herbs it will save you money not to mention the frustration of having to throw out the decayed herbs.

The best way to store fresh herbs is to wrap them in a damp kitchen paper towel and place the fresh herbs in the refrigerator. For the best results store them in the vegetable bin of your fridge, the fresh herbs will keep without wilting or decaying for up to 7 days.

How To Make Fresh Herb-Infused Oil

Making herb-infused oil is an excellent way to use up any leftover herbs. Or if you have an abundance growing in your garden. Herb oil is excellent for adding a herbaceous flavor to salads, or as a base for salad dressings.

  • Frist serialize your jar with hot water and let it naturally air dry.
  • Thoroughly wash your fresh herbs and dry them well using a salad spinner or paper towels.
  • Pack the herbs into the jar, you can also add the juice of one lemon or a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
  • Cover the herbs with good quality extra virgin olive oil or rice bran oil.
  • Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine the herbs and oil. Place into your refrigerator and leave for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Strain the oil through a fine sieve or muslin cloth, and discard the herbs. Decant the herb oil into a clean jar or container. The herb oil will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Final Words

Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor and color to your cooking. Not sure what herbs to use? I’ve given you a guide on which are some of the best herbs to use and how to use them.

One of the best things about using fresh herbs is that they can be used in pretty much any type of dish, from soups to salad dressing!

It’s true—you don’t have to know how to cook with fresh herbs before you start experimenting with them so get started today by picking up some basil, thyme, or cilantro at your local grocery store. You’ll be amazed at the outcome!

Using fresh herbs can really elevate an otherwise ordinary dish into something special without having to work too hard at all.

I’ve given you a chef’s insight on how to use fresh herbs in your everyday cooking, now get creating!