If you planted any herbs this spring, you have probably encountered a surplus of them after our recent moisture. If you’re looking for ways to use them, there are numerous ways to incorporate herbs into your cooking. Here are some suggested uses for the herbs we mentioned in our post, “Growing Herbs on the Llano Estacado”.
Why Cook with Herbs?
Cooking with herbs that you have grown yourself is an easy, inexpensive way to flavor your food, and to add extra nutrients. Few things taste better than the addition of fresh herbs. Once you begin cooking with herbs you have grown yourself, you will never go back to store bought.
Tarragon grows into a perennial bush on the Llano.
Suggestions for Cooking With Herbs:
- Basil: great for Italian and Asian cuisine. To cut it for seasoning, roll the leaves together, then slice through at an angle to make thin ribbons. To use large amounts of basil at once, combine several cups of it with olive oil, garlic cloves, and pine nuts into your food processor and blend to make a delicious pesto sauce.
- Sage: delicious on chicken, in stuffing, and in making your own sausage. It also pairs very well with butternut squash. To use sage in cooking, you can either use the leaves whole or give it a rough chop.
- Thyme: another herb that pairs beautifully with chicken, roast, and pork. You can use the entire stem and leaves in a broth (for roast), or pull the leaves off of the stem to season your chicken.
- Oregano: a great seasoning for Italian and Mexican meals. To chop fresh oregano, pull the leaves from the stems, stack together, and chop into smaller pieces.
- Mint: versatile both as a seasoning for cooking and for making beverages. You can pair it with lamb, or with berries for a refreshing snack. You can also brew it in teas. Depending on your use, you can either use the leaves whole, pound them to release the oils, and or chop them roughly.
- Rosemary: pairs well with chicken and lamb, as well as with tomato sauce for homemade pizza or spaghetti sauce. Like thyme, you’ll want to pull the thin leaves from the stems.
- Tarragon: great to use with fish, chicken, and even omelets, as well as to season homemade dressings. Chop finely to add to your dishes.
- Parsley: delicious in Italian dishes or on eggs and potatoes. To cook with parsley, coarsely chop the leaves and stems. Consider adding it to your smoothies for an extra burst of vitamins and nutrients, as well as fresh breath.
Greek Oregano also thrives on the Llano Estacado.
What is your favorite recipe for cooking with herbs? We’d love to hear your ideas and recipes!