Easing Into Herbs in the Kitchen

Cooking with herbs doesn't mean your recipes need to be complicated -- here's a few ideas for slowly introducing them to familar dishes.
September 19, 2008
http://www.motherearthliving.com/Cooking-Methods/easing-into-herbs.aspx




Cooking at home is something I've had to get used to: It was never really a hobby of mine before I lived on my own, and when I would attempt a meal in the kitchen, it missed a lot of flavor. So I started searching for simple recipes… and cooking with herbs.

To transform a typical dish, you can’t go wrong with herbs – but you probably knew that. The Herb Companion features plenty of recipes with herbs in every one of our issues, but I surveyed some recipes online to see how others are incorporating herbs in two simple dishes: omelets and soups.

classic “fines herbs” omelet in France features sweet herbs like parsley, dill, chives, mint – it’s up to you. Regardless, adding herbs to your omelet is a great way to wake up than say, with a bowl of cereal, right?

Another recipe from The New York Times tells you how to make a good soup (a favorite at-home dish of mine for being so easy to make and save) without stock and with an herb purée instead. The article suggests basil, parsley or a combination of other herbs like oregano and dill.

If you want to try fresh herbs with any recipes, check out your local farmer’s market and you’re bound to find some sellers. If you’re an at-home herb gardener, don’t fear that you can’t use your own herbs for any recipes throughout the winter: The Herb Companion shows you how to save them through the frost.

Recipes used to read like foreign languages to me, and herbs seemed a little out of reach on a college student’s diet. But making simple dishes like these, and realizing that herbs can be easily incorporated into meals, makes the kitchen seem a little less scary.

What meals did you first start using herbs in, and which dishes do you most suggest adding herbs to?

– Jessica is an editorial intern for The Herb Companion.