It really doesn’t matter what you’re cooking. Using fresh herbs to ramp up the flavor can turn any dish from ordinary to extraordinary. At the same time, herbs should not be the main attraction in your cooking. Herbs should be used to enhance the flavor of your cooking, not turn it into something different.
Sometimes the sheer number of herbs available can be overwhelming. Overall, more than 500 herbs and spices exist and are used from time to time. Of course, nobody you or I know has 500 herbs in their kitchen. We will all identify the list of herbs we are most likely to use, then focus on adjusting our recipes to our own personal taste.
You may be asking, why not just stock the pantry with a selection of my favorite herbs? Well, of course you can do that. But you won’t be using herbs to their maximum potential. Fresh herbs taste better than dried herbs. Plus, as herbs are stored, they tend to lose their flavor over time. Fresh herbs are the best way to access the pure, full flavor that they have to offer.
Some grocery stores have begun to stock “fresh” herbs. They’ve been harvested and packaged in a way that retains some of their fresh qualities. However, even if these are an improvement over dried herbs, they are still at the grocery store, not at your home. You may be good at planning ahead and knowing exactly what you need, but I’m never that strategic about my meal planning.
Growing my own herbs at home allows me to harvest the exact herb I need in the precise amount required for the recipe. Not only does this guarantee the freshest flavor in my cooking, it also is the most efficient way to keep herbs. There’s never any waste when you can harvest what you need exactly when you need it.
Once you start growing your own herbs at home, you’ll begin to enjoy all the possibilities this offers. And your dinner table may just become everyone’s new favorite destination.