HERBS

As fresh herbs are quite difficult to keep fresh [they do not last for long], it is a good idea to have dried herbs on hand at all times.

1 tablespoon [15 mL] freshly chopped herbs = 1 teaspoon [5 mL] dried herbs = 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon [1 to 2.5 mL] herb powder.

Basil:

Robust and pungent, basil is a natural with tomatoes.

Grind basil with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan cheese to make pesto, and turn everyday pasta into an elegant dish.

Goes well with fish, stews, salads, chicken and mild, white cheese.

Add at the end of cooking.

Keeps in the refrigerator 1 week, in a plastic bag.

Cilantro:

Also called coriander and Chinese parsley, cilantro is related to carrots and looks more like parsley.

The almost licorice flavor is popular in Mexican chili and guacamole, as well as in soups, salads and tomato sauce.

Add fresh leaves at the end of cooking.

Cilantro is very fragile.

Wrap cilantro in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Mint:

Pungent mint is perfect in cucumber and tabouleh, with lamb and peas, carrots and potatoes.

Flavors hot and iced tea, whisky and candies.

Seal in a jar and store in a cool place.

Rosemary:

Powerful but pleasant rosemary is used sparingly to season grilled lamb, pork, chicken, stuffing, pizza and tomato sauce.

Keeps in the refrigerator more than a week, wrapped in a damp cloth in a plastic bag.

Tarragon:

With a subtle lemon-licorice taste, the lovely, delicate perfume of tarragon brightens bland eggs, fish, chicken and veal.

Use to flavor herb butter, bearnaise sauce and tartare sauce.

Keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.

Thyme:

Thyme improves the flavor of just about any dish and goes partidularly well with slow-simmered stews, soups and tomato sauces, stuffings, grilled meats and sauces.

Fresh thyme leaves are highly aromatic.

Keeps in the refrigerator for more than 1 week, wrapped in a damp cloth in a plastic bag.