Bring out healthy flavor
Made from the leafy green portions of plants, herbs bring a cleaner, more subtle taste to your food than many spices and present no health concerns from the concentrations
used in recipes.
Basil — Besides pizza, pesto and salads, it’s great on cauliflower, tomatoes, lamb, veal, poultry and eggs, to name a few options.
Cilantro — A staple in both Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine, the pungent flavor shines when paired with milder meats like chicken.
Dill — A fresh-tasting add-on for seafood, salads, sauces, vegetables and vinegar. It also brightens up eggs and potatoes. It’s particularly useful for soups, especially those served cold.
Mint — Most often used in sweet-tasting dishes for the U.S., it’s prevalent in Asian cooking and great mixed into Greek yogurt, in a salad or its dressing or added to plain or sparkling water.
Oregano — Associated with joy and happiness in ancient Greek and Roman times, this herb works great in fresh or dried form on lamb, veal, broccoli, eggs, green beans, tomatoes and, of course, pizza.
Parsley — A terrific source of vitamin C, parsley is mixed into soups and sauces, accents the traditional Mediterranean dish tabbouleh (along with mint), and can be a garnish for salads, grilled veggies and fish.
Rosemary — This bold herb is perfect for poultry, steak, pork, fish, grains, mushrooms, vegetables and salads. Full sprigs are roasted with meats and vegetables, too.
Sage — Used with discretion – this herb knows how to take over a dish – sage enhances stuffing, poultry, meat, fish, salads, soups or stews; in short, just about everything.
Thyme — This sturdy, aromatic leaf pairs well with beef, fish, poultry, broccoli, chowders, soups and stews, sauces and even salad dressing.
Fresh herbs aren’t processed, so they could have a nutritional advantage over their dried counterparts. Some lose much of their flavor to the drying process, including basil, parsley and mint, and are their best selves when fresh.
Growing your own herbs is the most economical way to get them fresh. Perennial herbs that grow well in Greater Prescott’s mountain climate include thyme, mint, sage and lavender.
Dried herbs from the grocery store are more affordable and less perishable, lasting about a year. Flavor is more concentrated in these, so the rule of thumb is to use about one-third the amount of fresh herbs recommended in a recipe.