I love to cook with fresh herbs, there is absolutely nothing like a the fresh taste of parsley, chives and butter with a good steak. The addition of mint to a fresh fruit salad or the bright somewhat fennel flavor fresh chopped tarragon adds to chicken salad. At my home I have two herb gardens, one out in my main garden where I grow the bulk of my vegetables and then a smaller raised garden bed out on our porch thats within walking distance to my kitchen.

At this moment, late winter I have at least 8 varieties of herbs growing; parsley, cilantro, chives, mint, tarragon, thyme, oregano and rosemary. I have two varieties of rosemary creeping and tall, three  types of thyme; common, elfin and lemon. Two lovely varieties of oregano; Greek and Italian. Why so many? What uses do I have have for all of those? Do they survive Texas winters or summers? All those answers and more are below and images of the 5 essential herbs I use in my recipes and as garnish in my images.

Basil

Highly aromatic with a robust licorice flavor. Excellent in pestos, as a finishing touch on pasta sauces and dishes, or stuffed into sandwiches.

Dill

Light and feathery herb with a pungent herb flavor. Use it with yogurt sauces, vinaigrettes, homemade pickles, poached fish, and sprinkles over salad greens.

Parsley

Available in flat-leaf (Italian) or curly varieties, this very popular herb is light and grassy in flavor. Use it in sauces, in salads, in place of cilantro, compound butters and as always a garnish.

Chives

Delicate onion and garlic flavor. Use with fish, baked potatoes, whipped in cream cheese and their flavor is perfect for creamy egg dishes.

Thyme

 A subtle, dry aroma anywhere from a lemon flavor to a slightly minty flavor. Best used with poultry, fish, vegetables, soups and is paired with tomatoes.

All Purpose Herb Salt
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kosher salt, coarse salt or Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Measure the Kosher salt into a medium size bowl add the fresh ground pepper to the bowl and set aside.
  3. Wash and dry all the fresh herbs, remove only the leaves and discard the woody stems from all the herbs.
  4. With a sharp knife and cutting board, finely chop the herbs and add to the salt.
  5. Wash and dry the lemon, using a zester remove the peel and add the zest to the salt and herbs.
  6. Juice the lemon you just zested, making sure to strain any pulp and seeds. Add the lemon juice to the salt and herbs.
  7. Stir the salt well so the lemon juice, herbs, and zest are fully incorporated. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake 30-45 minutes or until the salt is no longer wet and looks very dry, stir the salt mixture carefully once or twice through the cooking process.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, take a fork or wooden spoon and break up the large pieces.
  9. Place in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  10. Add to chicken, turkey, fish, vegetables, salads and added to unsalted butter to make a compound butter. My personal favorite is to add this salt over freshly popped popcorn and drizzled with a bit of brown butter.
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http://katescuriouskitchen.com/5-essential-fresh-herbs/

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