When going out for a date, ladies have this ritual of applying makeup on their faces. Nowadays, the media houses are employing makeup artists to furnish their journalists and crew when holding discussions. Makeup makes everything beautiful.
Herbs to food are what makeup is to people. They elevate dishes to the next level by adding unique flavours and livening them up with a touch of freshness when serving. Food without herbs basic and doesn’t evoke some spicy memories.
Herbs are classified into two classes. The first class is woody herbs such as thyme and rosemary, and the second class is soft herbs such as coriander and basil. While soft herbs are eaten raw, woody herbs are very powerful to be eaten raw. Woody herbs are often removed from the food during serving. On the other hand, soft herbs are scattered on food or added in salads.
There are hundreds of herbs that can be used in the kitchen. Some can be grown at home in containers, while others require specialised conditions. Above all, herbs are intended to season dishes by giving them a unique taste and aroma. This article highlights the eleven most common herbs in UK cooking.
11 Popular Herbs Used In UK Cooking
Chives belong to the onion family yet have a milder flavour. They are amazing for sprucing salads. Chives add an aspect of freshness to savory meals. Although they are common in French cooking, their popularity in the UK has grown exponentially. They give the best taste when coupled up with eggs, potatoes, and cheese.
Parsley is probably the ultimate rice enhancer, famed for its bitter, fresh flavour. You can use it as curly or flat-leaves, plus it gives you an upper hand with most recipes. To use it in dishes, you sprinkle some fresh parsley and serve the dish. Some popular meals to use parsley include grilled fish, chorizo, omelette, roasted lamb, or beef stroganoff. You can also use it in a bubble and squeak breakfast. Always store the stalks; they are handy when you want to flavour stocks.
Basil is pivotal in Italian cuisine. It has a sweet, a little aniseed flavour, thus making it ideal in salads and pasta dishes. It’s also critical to preparing delicious pesto and couples up well with ripe cherry tomatoes and eggs when preparing a huge-tasty omelette.
Basil combines with other herbs and spices perfectly to give unique flavours. You can use it with mozzarella, tomato, garlic, artichokes, seafood, strawberries, and balsamic vinegar. When using basil, always slot tomatoes in the recipe and enjoy the perfect combination.
Mint is a very hardy herb. It can survive a whole year if taken care of properly. There are two varieties, peppermint, and spearmint. Fresh mint is perfect when used in fruits. You can try it in a fresh fruit salad or on grilled pineapples and strawberries. Furthermore, it’s great in spicy salads, served with mushy peas, fish, or mixed with yoghurt.
Thyme is a short, strong scrub with many long shrill twigs and very small scented leaves. It’s popular in stews and stocks. Thyme is also delicious when roasted with chicken, beef, or vegetables such as leeks, carrots, or squash. It’s also a perfect addition to slow-cooked stews. You can also use thyme in cheesy bakes. Since thyme has a strong flavour, you ought to use it sparingly.
Like thyme, Sage is a hardy herb whose genetic composition allows it to survive in most weather conditions. It’s extremely aromatic and blends perfectly with deep flavours. Although it goes well with deep flavours, it’s somewhat different from the sharpness of parsley.
Sage amplifies any meal into something everyone relishes. For best results, use it as a whole instead of cutting it into small pieces. Try it with some slow-cooked onion soup, pork chops, or bangers and mash. Fresh sage is also used to make Chinese herbal tea.
It is one of the most famous herbs globally. Rosemary, like thyme, is a woody herb known for its fragrant needle-like leaves. The leaves are mostly used in dishes with a longer cook time, while the stalks are great in stews and soups.
Rosemary is often used with roasted potatoes, roast meat, slow-cooked pies, and loaves of bread such as focaccia. Meat kebabs and grilled vegetables with additives of rosemary stalks are so delicious. When using rosemary, always remember to remove it when serving due to its strong flavour.
8. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves give ultra-sweetness to stews, stocks, soups, and braises. A bay leaf changes the full flavour of a meal. You can use the herb to overhaul the flavour in rice puddings, custards, rice, or infuse heated milk.
Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, which in Greek means “joy of the mountains”, oregano is usually considered better in its dried form than fresh. The sweet-scented herb belongs to the mint family and is famous among the Italian and Mexican culinary, especially cheese and tomatoes. It’s closely related to marjoram, which is ignored widely despite its usefulness in spicing pulses and red meats. It has a sweet, less peppery flavour.
Popular for its bright green colour, slim stems, and grassy flavour, dill grows up to 1 metre tall. It’s used with pickled cucumbers or to spice fish, salads, and vegetables. It’s also used in egg dishes, dressings, and cream cheese. Furthermore, both the seeds and flowers are edible.
Lavender is a tall shrub with tiny aromatic leaves. The herb is a from the mint family and grows up to a height of 60 cm, producing flowers. It’s used mainly in potpourri and perfumery.
Lavender is also regaining lost glory in dishes such as lavender jam, shortbread cookies, lavender ice cream, roasted potatoes, or grilled pork chops. Besides its spicing aspect, it’s been used for centuries to ease headaches.
Other Noteworthy Herbs
- Lime leaves
List of Herbs: Summing Up
Even though most herbs are finest when fresh, you will find yourself storing the lovely herbs once in a while. Store them carefully to preserve their greatness. You can now become an unraveled home cook with mastery of the commonly used herbs and spices.