Reta Skeeter

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Reta Skeeter

Posted on | July 10, 2009 | 187 Comments

Cooking with fresh herbs is great. It allows the full flavor of the herb to come through. Its for this very reason that many cooks insist on including fresh herbs in their recipes. Whether these chefs insist on picking the herb straight from its growing medium, soil, artificial composts or hydroponic units or including them infused in oils there is no doubt that the fresher the herb to more rounded and fulsome the flavour experience.

Picking Fresh Herbs

Those who have their very own herb gardens and grow fresh herbs should definitely know that there is a right time to pick herbs for cooking with fresh herbs. This time is not actually a few minutes before you cook. The ideal time for picking herbs is in the earlier hours of the morning before the sun has gotten too hot that the plants will have wilted a bit from lack of water. Many poetic experts recommend picking herbs just before the morning dew has dried from it. This way, cooking with fresh herbs is at its optimum flavor and it stores better as well.

If you are picking your fresh herbs from a grocery store, not a garden, you can check out the appearance of the herbs to see if they are relatively fresh. Herbs that are a day or two old in the grocery chiller, should not have dark brown ends where they have been snipped not should these ends have some sort of opaque liquid in them. Cooking with fresh herbs can still be done if you get your herbs from the grocery store. The key is in choosing which are fresh and which are not.

Storing Herbs As Good As Fresh

Cooking with fresh herbs can also mean herbs that have been stored the right way that they retain their flavor and freshness. One way to store herbs for a short time is to store them in a refrigerator crisper. Cut the stems of the herbs in a diagonal line and place the herbs in a glass of water, much like a bouquet of flowers. Cover these loosely with a plastic bag to allow some air circulation. Change the water in the glass daily and place the glass back in the crisper when not in use.

Preparing your Herbs for Cooking

Unless otherwise told most recipes require the herbs to be ‘minced’ herbs small pieces. You can do this with a chef’s knife on a cutting board or snip with a kitchen scissors. Both will give great results without destroying the herb taste and texture.


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