The only time salt & pepper should be the only seasoning you add to a meal is when you’re making a steak or a beef burger. Other than that, you need to make sure your dish has plenty of love(aka flavor).
The best way to build complex & distinct flavor in a dish is by adding herbs.
I prefer fresh herbs but in a pinch, dried will do as well. Just note that you will always need to add more fresh herbs than dried herbs(2-3 times as much) to a recipe to achieve the same level of flavor.
What are my favorite herbs? Well, I’m glad you asked.
This one is my absolute fav! I use it on chicken, beef & pork. In sauces, Dominican style rice & pigeon peas and literally in everything. Dried or fresh, anytime I’m cooking and feel like something is missing, I throw in a little thyme and all is made right in the world :-) It’s definitely a must have for your pantry.
Perfect for lamb and beef. Whenever I do a slow cooker recipe with red meat, rosemary always finds a way to get involved. It’s also great with lamb chops when added to a marinade of red wine, brown sugar, mustard, garlic & olive oil. And don’t forget about adding rosemary to breads, rosemary focaccia anyone??
Great for more than just pickling cucumbers! This herb is a perfect match for seafood! For the non-meat eaters, the refreshing, almost mint like quality of dill goes well with potatoes, whether roasted or in a potato salad as well as in tossed vegetable salads.
4. Cilantro a.k.a. coriander
A key ingredient in Latin-American cuisine but is also important in it’s coriander state in Asian curries. It’s probably the herb on this list that you all will be the most familiar with. The flavor is so distinct and robust that you either love it, or you hate it. Even though it always comes in huge bunches from the grocer, I try and use it sparingly since it carries so much flavor. I love adding cilantro to my guacamole and salsas.
Bold addition to sauces and gravies. I also love using sage with pork. There’s a simple bacon & sage wrapped pork tenderloin recipe that I do, where the sage is laid on a layer of bacon and wrapped around the pork. Woo wee! That dish is a winner every time.
You simply cannot make Italian food without basil. Whether it’s being utilized as the star of the show, as in a pesto sauce or merely chopped and sprinkled on top as a finisher; it’s a must! I’ve also started using it in my scrambled eggs with salt and pepper; adds a special somethin’ somethin’.
Other notables: mint, oregano & chives.
Herbs I don’t like: parsley & tarragon. When I think of parsley, I think one thing: boring. No matter how many times I’ve used it, I’ve failed to find it essential.
And tarragon. Ohhhh tarragon, I hate you. Yes, that’s a strong word, but I do! How is it that more than 1 element in nature was allowed to taste like licorice?? However, if you love licorice/anise flavors then you’ll enjoy this herb.
What are some of you all’s favorite herbs?