I just got a spice rack for Easter and I haven’t got a clue what to do with it. I use ‘ Italian’ seasoning for pasta, and I pepper my steaks. That’s about it. Help!
I was really intrigued by your e-mail so I decided to answer it in a blog post. You didn’t say where you were from – so I guess you’re inviting me to play a game of ‘Where’s Waldo?’ but I’ll assume you’re from a location where you have access to a green grocer or farmer’s market. You won’t be able to live without them once you master the fine art of herb-driven flavor. Without much ado, welcome to the wonderful world of gourmet cooking with herbs!
Fresh Herbs vs. Dried Herbs
Nothing beats fresh herbs if you have access to them, but a spice rack can be a great choice for the busy suburbanite. Fresh herbs should have a strong aroma when crumbled or torn, and have a beautiful strong color, not black, too dry or wilting. Dried herbs should be from a reliable provider. Some herbs even show their best side when dried, such as bay leaf, thyme or rosemary. In these cases, the drying process improves the herbs’ flavor.