You don’t need to be a culinary expert to reap the benefits of herbs. There are numerous recipes online but you know what, just follow your nose, experiment, just take little leaves from your kitchen window and add a dash here and there. The guide below gives you an idea to get you started but you will soon discover your own favourites. I really recommend growing your own kitchen window collection, they are always fresh and they look great too. Check out my favourite place to buy seeds, this company are fantastic as they are always giving free seeds with purchases to introduce you to other ideas. They also only supply GMO free which is the best way forward and as nature intended. Check them out here. http://bit.ly/2VSlH6i
WHICH HERBS GO WITH WHAT?
You need Basil if you are going to cook Italian. This is one of the most common herbs that is found in every kitchen window sill. It has a little aniseed flavour and really knows how to add a little bit of wow to any pasta or salad dish. Basil is just gorgeous with tomatoes. This versatile herb goes great with cheese especially vegan mozzarella, artichokes and garlic, drizzled with balsamic vinegar it tastes perfect. Liven up your strawberry serving with Basil for a colourful pop that taste so fresh. Quick and simple, bruschetta with tomatoes, basil and a little balsamic, getting hungry just thinking about it!
We are going a little bit french here! Used widely in french cooking this is another staple for your windowsill. Chives are part of the onion family and can add a little bit of zing to salads and freshness to savoury dishes. Boil some potatoes, mash with your chosen butter and milk ( lots of vegan alternatives) and mix in the chives – makes a mouth watering yet so simple main or side dish.
This little herbs packs a punch with it’s strong flavour. Use this with slow-veg, soups and pasta dishes – it’s another little star in the Italian and Greek kitchens. Oregano is used widely in the UK as a sprinke over pizza dishes. Try using in a gorgeous vegan moussaka or adding to a bean stew. Oregano is such a versatile herb and brings a little mediterranean flavour to your every day recipes.
This is a family member with Oregano, the little delicate thinner relation. Used widely in North European recipes, it goes great with beetroot, carrots and lends itself well to salads. Try it some vegan cheese and beefy tomatoes. Try with pasta, broad beans and fennel for a culinary delight.
PARSLEY So bitter and fresh flavoured it is a perfect garnish. For a vegan dish this is perfect with potatoes and can be used just like the chives – mashed potato with vegan butter/milk and stirred in. This is a great fresh tasting simple dish. The stalks can be used for stock so keep them! Sprinkle and use also as a main ingredient in soup.
Totally gorgeous with your fruit platter. Chop up lots of fruit and sprinke with this beautiful herb for a real kick. Spearmint and peppermint are the two main varieties commonly used in the kitchen. It can be added to salads and is really lovely mixed through peas for a little lift. Try it with your vegan yogurts too and to cool down spicy dishes.
This woody herb is best served with roast potatoes or added to focaccia breads to add a whole lot of flavour. Just take off the stalks and spring the leave’s over your potatoes before roasting and on top of your bread before popping in the oven.
Roast Thyme with vegetables and add into stews and stocks. It has a gorgeous perfume and is quite strong so do add sparingly. Try with your vegan cheese dishes too to enhance the flavour. I have come across some rather interesting recipes to use thyme including one for apple and thyme crumble with thyme custard which can obviously be adapted to vegan friendly, get creative! Thyme and figs are another great recipe combo that is quite common and would be an interesting one to try.
This is such an aromatic herb and just takes everything around it to a new taste level. It goes really well with onion dishes and vegan cheese. Try a cheese and onion tartlet with added sage for a tasetbud sensation. Add to butternut squash mash with vegan cream or butter for a tasty side.
The great garnisher! It has a citrus flavour but very gentle. This herb is commonly used in South American cooking being added to the good old guacamole and fresh salsa. Try with chilli and avocado too, just delish! You can add coriander to curries, salads and soups to bring a freshness to the dish. A staple ingredient in making curry paste.
This is a Scandanivian favourite, in fact most of eastern Europe and the Med all love dill. Include in salads and potato dishes. It is a fragrant herb so adds that little edge to your dish. Dill is used frequently with fish but tastes equally as good with vegan recipes. Oatcake, dill and potato samosa is one of they recipe I have encountered and sounds intriguing!
It is best to use sorrel in cooked dishes. It has a lemon sourness and goes well with potato dishes. Try sorrel in the wok with a little olive oil and add in some almond butter and a dash of Himalayan salt. Accompany sorrel with rice or use a base for a pesto sauce. Add sorrel to stuffing recipes too – grill a red peeper and stuff with sorrel and rissotto for a delish treat.
A delicate plant with an aniseed flavour. It goes with tomatoes, potatoes and chopped into salads. Tarragon is used widely in France and can be used to flavour oils and vinegar. Sprinkle over roast vegetables and in particular carrots. Beautiful used in sauces as it imparts a gorgeous aroma. Use sparingly in your recipes as to not over power the main dish.
Similar to Tarragon but the flavour isn’t as strong. It has delicate leaves and goes well in salads and soups. Chervil is a beautiful garnish and a chefs favourite addition when enhancing the look of any dish, so pretty! Chervil is known as the happy herb, great for digestion but also for cheerfulness and sharp wit. If you some help with your one liners at the dinner table, make sure to include the happy herb!
There are so many herbs out there that can be incorporated into your recipes. Herbs are often overlooked in our day to day quick family dinners especially mid week dinners. The benefits of using herbs is huge not just for adding flavour and colour but herbs have such an impact on our bodies for the good. If you want to keep healthy always include herbs. It is good to have a few pots of the classics and commonly used, BASIL, PARSLEY andCHERVIL at the very least on the window sill. Every now and then break a little off and chew raw for major health benefits. Adding herbs to your recipes quite simply can add years to your life. They are more than garnishes and something green and pretty. It is just so wonderful to know that cooking with herbs really tick that box of delicious meeting healthy. Using herbs reduces the need for salt as they impart enough flavour and studies show cooking the herbs does not strip away the benefits. Make sure you read our blog on these benefits and get busy planting your medicinal and kitchen essentials.
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And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.