How to get anything out of dried herbs?
- xnyorkr Feb 12, 2007 06:17 PM
Even when I buy them from "upscale" sources, except for the really pungent ones, they all taste like faded grass to me -- basil, marjoram, parsley, cilantro (especially cilantro). I just can't taste them at all. How do you use dried herbs and actually have them *contribute* to your dish? Thanks.
In my opinion, few herbs taste good dried. Oregano and thyme are two that work well, although thyme is still better fresh. Cilantro, mint, tarragon, parsley, basil, marjoram and sage really should be used fresh. I have often bought a package from the store, used what I needed, then freezed the rest. Keeping a small herb garden is best, but can be hard to maintain.
I think you are right. I really have not had much luck with dried herbs. I made sofrito with fresh herbs, then froze the sofrito in an ice cube tray. It's great, not quite the same as fresh, but good enough. I think I'll do that with the rest of the herbs.
A lot of dried herbs are tasteless... the ones that seem to hold up best are oregano, thyme and rosemary, with sage coming up behind them (though it's not nearly as good as fresh...)
Parsley and chives lose all flavour and just become 'something vaguely green' when they're dried. (We don't have a garden, and our three cats would make short work of any attempt at indoor herb-growing, so I've tried a lot of different dried herbs...) I bought some dried cilantro last week but haven't tried it yet - I'm not expecting much!
as mentioned above, i also rely on oregano, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary for dried herbs. their flavor will get an extra jolt if sauteed for a minute in the oil/butter before adding other ingredients.
the other dried stuff is garbage.