How to Use Fresh Herbs
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Simonne
Posted on: April 14, 2005

I was going to start growing some fresh herbs in the house, I had used some dill in a recipe with lobster and it was delicious. I’ve always been crazy about great food and I’d like to make my recipes taste better. But unless it asks for a certain herb in my recipe, I wouldn’t know what to put in......I guess my question is what herbs are most commonly used and which one is better with chicken or beef, or fish? And can we use them with vegetables?

I would very much appreciate your help in selecting the herbs I would start with, and do they grow nicely in the house?

Fresh herbs do wonderful things for the flavour of food. I recommend following existing recipes using fresh herbs that are found in most food magazines these days, or in herb cookbooks (check out my book, Thyme in the Kitchen--Cooking with Fresh Herbs, available form Richters, if you like, which gives lots of tasty recipes as well as information on how to preserve the flavour of fresh herbs in vinegars, oils, butters, etc. and a full culinary Herb Directory -- what foods, such as meats or vegetables, each herbs is good in -- also found on my web site Trying recipes where the amount of fresh herbs to use is already worked out is the easiest way to learn the tastes with certain foods. Please review our Questions and Answers for additional information you are looking for.

Herbs grow best in sunny, outdoor conditions. In winter, indoor herbs will likely need a grow light or they will be spindly. When you are in the grocery store, smell various herbs to find out the ones that appeal to you. A good starter herb garden would include chives, basil, dill, tarragon, mint, thyme, sage, parsley and rosemary. You will likely only need one perennial herb like chives, mint, sage, etc. but several of an annual such as basil and dill. Thyme in the Kitchen also has growing information, when to pick herbs, how to handle and store, etc.

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