ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Using Fresh Herbs

Updated on September 4, 2014

How To Cook With Fresh Herbs

Seasoning is the soul of great cooking. The cook who seasons with fresh herbs respects the flavors of foods and insightfully and creatively enhances them. Fennel seed and garlic will uplift fresh salmon, for example, when a heavy cream sauce would only be an oppressive mask.

Learning to use fresh herbs skillfully not only will make your cooking healthier, but will enlighten the sensual pleasure of preparing food.To cook with fresh herbs, you must be involved with the food. If you are making black bean soup and think rosemary might work in it, taste the soup. Then smell the rosemary. Will they go together? You decide.

using fresh herbs
using fresh herbs

The Importance of Herbs In Your Diet

Culinary herbs can play an important part in the daily diet in spite of the fact that a relatively small amount of herbs are eaten each day. Herbs contain nutritional substances which are beneficial to health, and when added to other foods they bring out the full flavor and make them more enjoyable.

The specific substances contained in herbs are the volatile oils, mineral salts and bitter principles which consist of glycerols, saponines, tannins and carbohydrates. All of these play their part in the interaction of the herb's effect.

using fresh herbs
using fresh herbs

Grilled Bell Peppers With Fresh Basil

You may already have a favorite recipe for roasted or grilled bell peppers, but this version incorporates a couple of interesting ways to use herbs. The first is to toss aromatic sprigs of herbs on hot coals to gently perfume what's being grilled. The other is to add a chiffonade (skinny ribbons) of fresh herbs to lift the flavor of the finished dish.


16 sturdy red bell peppers, cored and seeded

2 handfuls of fresh thyme springs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup fresh sweet basil

Prepare the grill. If you're using coals, they should be hot and completely white.Remove the grill rack from the grill and arrange the peppers on it. Toss the thyme onto the hot coals and immediately set the grill rack into place, about 4 inches from the heat source. Let the peppers become completely charred, with black skins, turning them every 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the charred peppers to a large mixing bowl and cover it with a tea towel. Set aside until almost cool, at least 30 minutes.Working over the sink, remove and discard the charred pepper skins. Then slice the peppers lengthwise into quarters and place them in a large serving bowl. Pour on the olive oil and basil and toss gently to combine.Serve as an appetizer with crusty bread. Or slice the peppers into thin strips and toss with ziti or other pasta.

using fresh herbs
using fresh herbs

Making An Herbed Vinegar

Pack about 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs into a one and a half cup glass jar, then pound them lightly with a spoon to bruise them and release their aromas. Heat about a cupu of vinegar (but do not let it boil), and pour it over the herbs. Let the vinegar cool, then cover and stash it in a cool place for a couple of weeks before using it in vinaigrettes, to deglaze pans, to snap up soups and sauces without having to use salt, and in marinades. Herbed vinegar will keep for about a year.

Flavor Combinations For Herbed Vinegars

Basil, bay leaf, and garlic with cider vinegar: Use in a marinade for fresh tuna before grilling.

Coriander leaf, dried hot chili pepper, and garlic with white wine vinegar: Combine with soy sauce and use as a dipping sauce for egg rolls.

Sage and chive blossoms with red wine vinegar: Toss with just steamed sweet potato chunks.

Mint and lemon peel with cider vinegar: Use in a marinade or sauce for mild white fish, like flounder, or drizzle on ripe tomatoes.


Bay Scented Bread Pudding

Bay leaves added to dessert puddings improves their sweetness without the need for refined sugars.


1 pound stale bread, muffins, or quick bread

1 cup chopped dried figs

1 cups whole milk

2 bay leaves

1 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush a large souffl dish with oil.Crumble the bread into the souffl dish, mixing in the figs as you go.Heat the milk and the bay leaves in a small saucepan until hot and fragrant, but not boiling. Remove the bay leaves out of the milk but keep them handy.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, the maple syrup, and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour over the bread crumbs, patting down the top to level it out, then place the bay leaves on top. Bake, uncovered, until firm and golden on top, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm for dessert or brunch with maple syrup, yogurt, or sauted bananas.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)