Help with Herbs

For those of us who rely on a large vat of mixed herbs to suffice for every dish, the following list is a short and comprehensive guide to cooking with herbs. It includes what dish best suits each herb, as well as the health benefits associated with each. Although it is a small step, we hope this has helped with the trials associated with Student cooking.

Image by Jessica Cohen

 

Basil

  • Soothes headaches
  • Aids with digestion
  • Contains B vitamins (good for vegetarians)

Works best with tomatoes, try adding it to any tomato sauce, or even adding it to a raw tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and mozzarella.

Dill

  • Good for digestion
  • Has been claimed to improve brain power, but I wouldn’t place too much faith in this theory and eat copious amounts of dill

Tastes great in a dish that uses cream (for example to season sour cream), or to season all types of fish.

Fennel

  • Helps stimulate appetite and aids digestion

Fennel has a slight liquorice taste, which, although it might not appeal to everyone, works especially well with eggs. Try adding it to season scrambled eggs or omelettes.

Garlic

  • Reduces blood pressure (definitely good if you’re stressed)
  • Helps to prevent colds and flu
  • Can be taken in pill form, available at most pharmacies

Add roasted garlic cloves into a whole Camembert cheese along with a few sprigs of rosemary, bake and serve with honey drizzled baguette.

Parsley

  • Good for troubled skin
  • Rich in Vitamin C and Iron

I would definitely recommend adding parsley to a dish containing chicken, especially a roast, and dishes containing cheese to season.

 

Mint

  • Soothes the stomach and aides digestion

For a sweet tooth, add mint, lemon and sugar on top of strawberries to create a healthy dessert.

As a savoury alternative, lamb and mint with apple are a brilliant and classic combination. Add chopped apple and mint to seasoned breadcrumbs, bind the mixture with an egg and use this to stuff the lamb before roasting.

Oregano

  • Benefits digestion and stimulates appetite

A key ingredient in Italian cooking, works well in the sauces for Pizza or Spaghetti Bolognese in particular.

 

Ginger

Works very well with both deserts and oriental dishes such as stir fries. One example would be pork stir-fried with ginger and honey, or in Chinese chicken or prawn curries to add some extra flavour

Ginger also works very well in cakes or puddings, or the infamous biscuits

Although it isn’t extensive, I hope this list can act as some aid to cooking, and will hopefully make you a more spontaneous and confident cook in your use of seasoning.

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