As a symbol of prosperity and abundance, renewal, balance and nurturing, green is a great color to have in your kitchen – whether it comes from finishes, accents, paint or just simply, your food!
To celebrate green and the positivity it can awaken in us, we’ve picked three green aromatic herbs that we should all use more in our cooking because they are fun, tasty and healthy.
Recipe image source: jamieoliver.com
Fun Facts about Tarragon
- Tarragon is a perennial aromatic herb that is part of the sunflower family.
- It is one of the four core herbs used in French cuisine. Not for nothing, French Tarragon is the best variety for cooking.
- It’s been historically used as a natural cure for toothaches. The ancient Greeks used to chew it as a mouth anesthetic.
- Do you have trouble sleeping? Tarragon is known to help get a good night’s sleep.
How to Cook with Tarragon
Tarragon works best as an accompaniment for seafood, fruits, poultry, eggs, and sauces (like the famous Bearnaise sauce). The Tarragon flavor is similar to anise and its aroma can easily impose itself over other flavors, so it’s important not to overdo it. For cooking, fresh Tarragon leaves are much better than dried Tarragon.
How to Store It
Wrap up the fresh Tarragon leaves in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. For longer duration, freeze the leaves: wash, trim and chop them and place them in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Recipe to Try with Tarragon
Jackie Kennedy’s Poulet a l’Estragon (also mentioned in the Russian literature classic, Anna Karenina)
Recipe image source: Allrecipes.com
Fun Facts about Fenugreek
- Fenugreek - or methi - is used both as an aromatic herb (in leaves form) and as a spice (in seeds form).
- The seeds have a golden color and a shape that makes them look similar to corn kernels, while they have a flavor reminiscent of maple.
- It is an important ingredient in most curry and chutney recipes.
- In Egypt and India, Fenugreek has long been used by lactating mothers to increase their milk production.
How to Cook with Fenugreek
When cooking with Fenugreek seeds, use small quantities as they have a rather strong aroma. Before use, the dried seeds should be roasted, though just lightly (or their bitter taste will come out in full force!) After roasting, you can ground them easily.
Cuisines that Use Fenugreek the Most
Fenugreek might not be very well known in North America but it is a staple of Indian, Pakistani, Persian and North African cooking and you have most likely already tasted it if you have ever had a dish from one of these cuisines.
Recipe to Try with Fenugreek
Recipe image credits - Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr; Source: Cooking Light
Fun Facts about Thyme
- Thyme is a perennial herb that mostly grows in Southern Europe and along the Mediterranean sea.
- In the Middle Age, people used to put thyme under their pillows to aid sleep and prevent nightmares.
- The ancient Greeks used it as incense in their temples and as an essence when taking a bath.
- The Romans used it to flavor both cheese and alcoholic beverages.
How to Cook with Thyme
Thyme as an intense aroma (especially fresh thyme), so it should be used in small doses. Fresh thyme is preferred to the dried kind because it has a much better flavor. Either way, it should be added towards the end of the cooking process because heat can actually dissipate its flavor.
How to Store It
You can store fresh thyme in the refrigerator for about two weeks if properly wrapped in a damp paper towel. If you use it sparingly, it is better preserved frozen. Dried thyme, on the other hand, can last about six months if stored in a tightly sealed glass container and a in a cool, dark and dry environment.