We all know that fresh herbs bring a more fresh and powerful taste to cooking than spices. And then they look delicious. For the less experienced everyday chefs, however, cooking with fresh herbs can often seem a bit more elaborate.
What should you look for in the supermarket? How to store and prepare them at home? And does it matter when and how much you use when cooking? Find the answers in this post.
What to look for in the supermarket
When pulling the herbs from the store shelf, make sure to look for the ones with the most vibrant green leaves. Avoid yellow and black spots, as these are typically caused by the store over spraying produce to make the herbs look fresh.
You can also go for the smell. The scent of a fresh herb is not to be mistaken. If the scent is weak, there is a risk that the taste will also be so.
Keep your herbs alive at home
Many people mistakenly believe that fresh herbs only last for a couple of days at home. Luckily, that is not true. Of course, you should always seek to use them as quickly as possible while they are all fresh and full of flavour. But in case you only use some of it or need to save it for later, there are plenty of options.
In this post, you can find advice on how to keep your plants alive at home: https://www.legro.dk/en/how-to-keep-your-plants-alive-at-home/
And here, you will find 4 tips on how to use any leftover herbs: https://www.legro.dk/en/4-ways-to-use-any-leftover-herbs/
Maximise the taste of your herbs
Do not wash your herbs until right before you need to use them, and make sure to only wash the part that you are using.
To bring out as much flavour as possible, chop the herbs finely. This will release the oils and fragrances of the herbs to better infuse the food with their taste.
Soft herbs, such as parsley, cilantro and tarragon, often lose their aroma quickly. A rule of thumb is therefore to never chop your herbs until right before you need to use them.
The right timing
When deciding when to add the herbs to the dish, you should always consider the following: The type of dish you are cooking, the herbs you are using and how much of its flavour you want to add to the dish.
Most soft herbs will typically lose a lot of their taste if added too early in a stew or other dishes with a long cooking time. Other more robust herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, do a better job at keeping the flavour in these dishes.