Your Fresh Herb Combinations ?
After a slow start, the herb garden is finally in full swing !
Since the garden season is limited, I have been trying to include herbs in every meal possible and especially use fresh herb blends. A good pinch of fine chopped fresh Basil, Chives, and Parsley tossed into scrambled eggs is heavenly...
There are the "classic blends" of Herbes de Provence, Fine Herbes, and Bouquet Garni, but I'd love to hear your favorite herb combinations and how you use them.
I've been enjoying the herb garden in my front-side yard as well, PoppiYYZ. The pots of growing good-stuff makes me very happy.
Right now I'm enjoying: mojito mint, spearmint and peppermint; rosemary; oregano, chives, thai basil, black basil and thyme. Coriander hasn't come in yet. I also have tons of lilac and edible flowers coming along.
So, with what I have going now I'm finding that mint and basil pair beautifully in everything from sangria, to flavored fruit teas, to pork tenderloin and egg bakes The basil and oregano leaves get put in fresh tossed green salads every day until the supply runs dry. I've made quite a few flavored salts by allowing herbs to dry in pots of salt. Touch of lemon zest and they really are useful on fish and lean cuts of beef. Once the lilac comes in I'll make rosemary/lilac shortbread cookies. So many choices!
Is there a special mint variety for mijitos ? Maybe that's why mine don't turn out so great.
My uncle makes AMAZING savory short-breads every Christmas time. My favorite is his rosemary shortbread, but he experiments with various herb blends (including adding lemon) and they all are terrific. Unfortunately, his recipes are stored in a vault...
This year was the first time I noticed specific mojito mint sold as starter container plants locally and seeds online, so I nabbed a few packets. The leaves are smaller, more concentrated in fragrance and a bit "warmer" in flavor than the traditional mint. But honestly, it's novelty at work lovely for cocktails. Just remember to muddle the leaves for cocktails along with your lime juice and simple syrup!
I like to go with herb "pairings". In my garden I have thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, parsley, dill, and chives. I tend to feature just one herb in a dish since I love garden-fresh herbs so much and don't want to dilute their flavor. But when I do combine herbs, these are the ones I go with the most:
Rosemary & thyme. Great with just about any roast or grilled meat, and my favorite herbs to add to roast potatoes. Also my go-to herb combo for whole roast chicken (along with lemon).
Thyme & tarragon. Most often I use this combo when making a potato frittata or omelets.
Dill and chives make a refreshing combo that goes great with fish (especially salmon) and light tomato-based dishes, cold potato salad, and warm-weather vegetables such as summer squash and cucumbers.
Basil & thyme. For tomato sauce, pizzas, eggplant/chicken parm etc.
OK fellow Herb Gardeners, here is what a couple of Google Hours came up with :
Herb Combinations :
For General Purpose -
Country Blend : Basil, Chervil, Tarragon, Thyme
For Salads -
Salad 1 : Chervil, Chives, Parsley, Tarragon
Salad 2 : Basil, Parsley, Tarragon
For Veggies -
Savory Bouquet Garni : Bay, Marjoram, Savory, Thyme
Veggie : Basil, Parsley, Savory
For Eggs & Rice -
Herbes de Prov. : Basil, Fennel, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Poppi H de P : Basil, Fennel, Lavender, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Thyme
Scrambled 1 : Basil, Chives, Parsley
Scrambled 2 : Basil, Dill, Parsley
Fines Herbes 1 : Chervil, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme
For Pasta -
Pasta : Basil, Oregan, Thyme
Pizza / Stew : Oregano, Rosemary, Savory, Thyme
Tomato Sauce : Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley
For Fish & Poultry -
Stuffing : Celery, Marjoram, Parsley, Sage
Fines Herbes 2 : Chervil, Chive, Parsley, Tarragon
BBQ 2 : Basil, Sage, Savory, Thyme, Lemon Zest
Seafood : Basil, Fennel, Parsley, Lemon Zest
For Meat & Stews -
BBQ 1 : Basil, Bay, Oregan, Rosemary, Savory
Hearty Herb : Marjoram, Rosemary, Savory, Thyme
Hearty Bouquet Garni : Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme (optional add Leeks)
Classic Bouquet Garni : Bay, Parsley, Thyme (optional add Celery)
Still have to get me some Chervil. Now get out there and start clipping, chopping, and sprinkling !!
A delicious one...fresh spring rolls with herbs and prawns, rice noodles comes to mind of a fresh chicken salad with herbs, sprouts and shredded cabbage. such fresh ingredients, light meals on a hot day.
The edible flowers go into dozens of fruit teas, sangrias and ice cubes. But, I love them in light desserts and salads too.
New to me this year are two herbs, one is celery leaf herb or sometimes called cutting celery. I love it!
Also apple mint (with huge leaves), really tastes like apples.
I have been combining mint with several things and using it more. I like mint with basil and mint with greek oregano- both combo's go well in ground beef for greek style flavors.
I have also taken to marinating different cheeses overnight in olive oil, garlic and fresh herb combinations. Makes for a LOVELY appetizer or snack on the patio with wine and crackers. The other night, I marinated fontina cheese with oil, garlic, winter savory, lemon thyme and garnished with some fresh rosemary sprigs (not chopped). Delish!
I also like a twist on caprese salad by adding a bit of chopped fresh herbs over the top to compliment the basil. A bit of fresh oregano and a splash of balsamic over the top of caprese is very nice too ( I put my basil leaves between the moz and the tomato).
I do lots of marinated salads in the summer, so all combinations of fresh herbs do well in those too.
We threw together a lovely pasta dish that was more or less based on a Mark BIttman non-recipe. It was a large handful of sweet basil, lemon basil and then a smaller amount of chives, tarragon, oregano and parsley. In a generous amount of olive oil, I sauteed up about three cloves of garlic and a chopped red pepper, then tossed into cooked pasta, along with the herbs, some smoked salmon and some really tasty Spanish olive oil. Served a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper and a tiny bit of crushed red pepper flakes. It was delicious!
Luckily found some Chervil plants and they are growing quite well. Chervil has a mild anise flavor and is amazing in the Chervil, Chives, Parsley, Tarragon blend !
I like Tarragon but find it a little overpowering on it's own (ie in Tarragon Chicken). This four herb blend in equal parts is very subtle and is outstanding added to melted butter for fish, and sprinkled straight into scrambled eggs or salads.
A couple of good additions :
Knowlton's Trout Blend : Basil, Dill, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme. Excellent on butter basted grilled or pan fried trout fillets.
Pierre Franey's Omlette aux fine herbes : Chervil, Chives, Parsley, Tarragon. Loved this guy, his books, and his TV show (may he RIP). Fascinating memoir of his called "A Chef's Tale", includes many great recipes too.
my herb plants have started to arrive
costmary(Bible leaf)-not for cooking
3 different scented geraniums(lemon,rose, mint)
I grow my plants in containers since I don't have a backyard