Cooking vegetables with the right herbs will make an unforgettable difference. Learning how to use herbs will have your family and dinner guests impressed. Here is how to change an ordinary tasting vegetable dish into an extraordinary one with the added flavors of herbs and spices.
All of the common and favorite herbs can be used with vegetables. Herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, chervil, Tarragon, coriander, cumin, dill, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and curry. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves can also be added to really spice up some vegetables. Adding chopped nuts and mushrooms to vegetable dishes is another great way to bring more flavor and nutrition into the meal. Herb flavored vinegars, marinades, and oils are readily available in supermarkets or they can be made at home. These flavored additives can be used on salads and when grilling vegetables, meat and fish.
Salt, pepper, onions, garlic and fruit juices have been favorite flavor enhancers over the ages. With the popularity of gourmet cooking a wider variety of herbs and spices are becoming widely used. Here are some combinations of vegetables and herbs and spices that work well together:
Vegetables & Herbs
Sweet Potatoes- nutmeg or cinnamon Potatoes -garlic and basil, mint and sage Squash (orange)-thyme, basil and rosemary Squash (yellow)-basil, parsley and oregano Cabbage -cilantro and cumin Carrots -cumin, sage, ginger Corn -marjoram or sage, dill seed & thyme, basil and rosemary Broccoli -basil and oregano (with tomatoes) Peas -thyme Beans -oregano and basil, onion and garlic (add chopped nuts) Egg Plant -Basil and parsley Leeks -Garlic and ginger Asparagus-Tarragon, basil (add tomatoes and cheese) Brussel Sprouts-Parsley and Garlic (add walnuts, orange zest with sweet peppers) Beets -ginger and cinnamon (add lemon juice to retain color) Spinach -Basil and garlic, Dill and lemon
Vegetables with herbs make a wonderful side dish at any meal. Whether you are using fresh, frozen or canned vegetables their flavor will always be enhanced with the addition of herbs. Fresh herbs can always be substituted with dried ones. Just be careful not to use too much of the dried herbs because they are more condensed than in the fresh form and can easily overpower the flavor of vegetables.
Mixing various vegetables together provides an interesting medley of colors and food flavors. Some recipes also add chopped nuts, peppers and tomatoes along with herbs. By adding other foods you will not only add more flavors, but will make your vegetable dishes more interesting and nutritious too. A healthy diet is one that has the most variety of fresh and nutritious foods. So donít be shy, experiment with a wide variety of herbs and foods. Add flavored oils and fruit juices and youíll be surprised how much more youíll not only enjoy eating vegetables, but also cooking and serving them. Making gourmet tasting meals can be just that easy. Your family and guests will be wonderfully delighted every time they sit down at your dining table. Using herbs and spices will turn your meals into an extraordinary health food experience that is as rich in vitamins and nutrients as it is in color and flavor.
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