Using Fresh Herbs

Herbs can make almost any recipe come alive with flavour. And with so many of them available, you have an almost infinite variety of flavours close at hand.

A few quick tips to make cooking with herbs a little easier:

  • Always use a sharp knife. Let’s face it: no matter how good they may taste brown, oxidized herbs look yucky. So make sure to use a sharp knife or scissors so you don’t bruise it before you add it to your recipe.
  • Avoid over chopping! Fresh herbs not only taste great but look great too.  Let’s see it!  Chop your herb to 1/8” to ¼” across.  If using a food processor just pulse your herbs.
  • Use the leaf not the stem.  The stem or stalk won’t soften when cooked or marinated, and they often have a more bitter, “woody” taste. So save them for the compost, not your dish.
  • Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking. Intense heat changes the delicate flavours of many herbs. Adding herbs right before serving ensures they’ll taste as fresh as possible.

Always remember: recipes are like road maps: they tell you one way to get to your destination. But there are always others. If you see an herb or other ingredient you don’t like, don’t discount the recipe! Replace the unwanted ingredient with something you do like!