Fresh herbs make any meal taste fantastic. They are super easy to grow and inexpensive at the grocery store. The smells of fresh basil, cilantro and rosemary are some of nature’s best scents. I am so excited to share inspiring ideas and recipes so you can create something herb-a-licious today!
I probably make this first recipe at least once a week with a few minor changes depending on what I am serving it with. It is quinoa with fresh herbs and it is addicting! Just prepare 1 ½ cups of quinoa with 3 cups liquid. I use chicken broth and fresh lemon juice for a citrus flavour; use whatever liquid that suits your taste. Once the quinoa is finished cooking the fun begins! While the quinoa is cooking, chop up 1 cup fresh basil, ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, 1 cup fresh cilantro and ¼ cup fresh chives. Mix all of these lovely smelling herbs with ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil. Pour the herb dressing over the quinoa and mix together. Delicious and extremely easy! I have added chopped up bell pepper and cherry tomatoes to this salad, as well. You can make it greek style by adding feta cheese chunks and black olives, too!
Another recipe that makes its way to my table quite often is rosemary and mint-garlic lamb skewers. We love lamb and it is quite popular in England. If you are a meat-eater, give it a try! Pork brochettes work just as well if you please (skip the mint if you use pork). This recipe is a simple marinade and that’s it! If you are using bamboo skewers, remember to soak them beforehand. Mix a marinade of ½ cup olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves chopped finely (or more if you choose), at least 2 tbsps of freshly chopped rosemary, 2 tbsps of freshly chopped mint, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. This marinade smells divine once you have those herbs chopped! In a shallow glass baking dish, pour the marinade over the lamb pieces that you have threaded onto your skewers. Allow to marinate at least 1 hour, if possible. These can be grilled outdoors or broiled in the oven depending on the time of year. Lamb can be prepared a bit pink in the middle. This is the way I like it and it tastes incredible!
These are just a few ways to cook with fresh herbs; there are literally hundreds of uses for fresh and dried herbs! Some suggestions I have for you:
Try sprinkling dried italian seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil on your popcorn.
Make fresh mint tea! Stick a good handful of fresh mint (stems and all) into a pot of freshly boiled water. Allow to steep at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!
The next time you make a sandwich, use fresh basil leaves instead of lettuce. Especially lovely with fresh tomato and mozzarella or on a turkey panini for some kick!
Make some fresh pesto! Pesto goes far beyond the basic basil, pine nut, olive oil variety. Try it with cilantro next time around and spread it on a southwestern-style chicken or veggie wrap!
I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful these lovely and tasty plants are for your health. They are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants.
Herbs were the very first medicines used and continue to be used today to treat many different symptoms. You can’t go wrong by introducing fresh herbs into your life. I promise your food will taste absolutely fabulous!
What’s your favorite herb to cook with?
Happy Family Cooking Everyone!