The importance of herbs


Herbs / Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

I once heard Marco Pierre White (one of Britain’s most revered chefs) say “I don’t understand people who are mean with seasoning”.  I think I’m from that school of thought. I often find when I’m cooking that adding a bit more salt or a bit more pepper, can really either make a dish stand out.

Herbs are no different. Each herb has its own fragrance and qualities and react differently based on how you use it. For instance, rosemary is a very robust, almost woody herb, meaning it’s great for slow roasting. Basil is a very green and leafy herb, meaning it’s great for quick cooking, in a tomato sauce perhaps?

I haven’t managed to plant or sow much at the allotment because the weather hasn’t been much to write home about. But I have been able make a herb garden for my kitchen. I was given a trio of ceramric pots for Christmas and I’ve been itching to use them.

I’ve grown a herb garden for the kitchen before (last spring, perhaps the spring before?) And like most herb gardens you go on holiday and before you know it, they’ve been neglected and you need to start all over again.

This time around I’m going to have a go at growing some hardy herbs that will hopefully last the wear and tear of everyday life.

So what herbs am I growing?

Rosemary

Great with lamb, pork, chicken and roasted vegetables. Whenever I get a whiff of rosemary I think of roast lamb, Easter and spring. As I mentioned before it’s incredibly robust making it ideal for roasting. I use alot of dry rosemary in the kitchen, so to have a fresh bunch on hand will make a lovely change. Here’s a great roast lamb recipe that uses a lot of fresh rosemary.

Health benefits include:

  • Improving moods
  • Boosting immunity
  • Improving blood flow

Sage

Sage is such an underused herb in my kitchen. I think if it’s there’s more growing on the windowsill I’ll be more inclined to use it. I’ve always wanted to make my own stuffing rather than rely on a box of stuffing mix. I hear homemade stuffing uses a lot of sage and onions, so if you know a good stuffing recipe please post it in the comments below please.

Health benefits include:

  • Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Improving skin quality
  • Managing diabetes

Mint

Last but not least for this post on growing herbs. Mint has to be my favourite herbs of all. It’s just so light, fresh but with a fragrant sting in its tail. It’s one of the few herbs that I would snip off and enjoy simply with warm water. Or perhaps even a Pimms! But my favourite use of this herb has to be with new potatoes or peas. Our friend Marco demonstrates this superbly in the video below where he cooks salmon steaks, with buttered new potatoes and tartar sauce.

Health benefits include:

  • Treating asthma
  • Aiding digestion
  • Treating depression

What herbs are you growing in your kitchen and why? Leave a comment below 🙂 

2 Replies to “The importance of herbs”

  1. I love having rosemary for lamb and roast vegetables; thyme for roast chicken, oregano for anything Mediterranean, and sage for frying with autumnal creations. Oh, and mint with smashed up peas and beans, and basil for pesto. You’re right. They transform mundane food into something more meaningful and magical. The smells and tastes transport me back to holidays or childhood. Great post, thank you.

    1. Oregano! I forgot that one! You’re so right – when I smell oregano, I think of margarita pizza 🙂 I love herbs – if I could my whole my whole windowsil in the kitchen would be dedicated to them. I’d also love to learn about drying my herbs for the winter months. Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

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