The bright burst of flavour that fresh herbs provide seems like summer exploding in my mouth. Fresh herbs make foods interesting.
A sprinkle of parsley can elevate a simple omelet, cilantro can turn tacos into a fiesta and dill can make fish taste like you are dining on a sunset cruise.Regardless of whether you grow your own herbs, or pick them up at a grocery store or local farmer’s market, summer is a great time to embrace herbs into your meals.
Here are 5 (of many) go-to fresh herbs to celebrate this summer:
- Basil. Sweet basil and tomatoes are very good friends and play well together. Add sweet basil to anything featuring tomato. It is delicious in pasta too. Thai basil has more of an anise (licorice-y) taste and is happy in curry dishes, soups and stews.
- Cilantro. Salsa, guacamole, grilled chicken, seafood and salads are just a few foods made better with cilantro (which may also be referred to as fresh coriander).
- Oregano. Think Italian and Mediterranean with oregano. Make a knock-out Greek salad, sprinkle oregano on pizza, add it to pasta salad or put it in a meatloaf.
- Dill. Roasted potatoes, fish cakes and roasted beets scream for fresh dill.
- Parsley. Don’t underestimate this herb as it will liven-up most meals. Sprinkle it liberally on pretty much everything. Start with a perfect bbq side kick: coleslaw.
If you still need to be persuaded to be an ‘herb-ivore’, look no further than chimichurri.
This Argentinean sauce is delicious, quick to prepare, and is a flavour powerhouse. It’s traditionally used on grilled meats but try it with grilled or roasted vegetables, as a spread on sandwiches, or with tofu, seafood or chicken. It’s a great way to use up leftover fresh herbs.
(Note: You can chop the herbs up by hand if you don’t have a food processor.)
Choosing, chilling, storing, cleaning and preparing fresh herbs