Cooking with Fresh Herbs

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

If using fresh herbs isn’t part of your kitchen arsenal and cooking secrets, this spring is a perfect time to start!  As the weather warms, some of the most delicious herbs are coming into season.

Herbs are a wonderful way to add healthy flavor and vibrancy to any dish.  If you are trying to cut down on salt or add some nonfat flavor to your food, fresh herbs are just what you need.  A great way to boost the flavor of a sauce or salad!

Paula’s test kitchen has come up with some tips for storing and cooking with herbs to make your life a little easier and much more flavorful.

Storing:
1. Spring herbs such as tarragon, dill, parsley, mint and basil are a bit more fragile with thin leaves, compared to heartier herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme. They need to be treated with care!

2. Buy only the freshest smelling and brightest colored herbs.

3. Trim the ends and put the bunch in a jar of cold water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4. Or wrap the herb bundle in damp paper towel and put in the fridge in a zip lock baggie.

Cooking:
1. Always taste your herbs before adding them to your dish, as flavor and potency can vary.

2. With more fragile herbs such as basil, tarragon, dill, and mint add them in at the end of cooking to preserve their flavor

3. Treat them kindly, snip with scissors or tear with your hands, rough chopping with a knife can bruise the fragile leaves and damage flavor.

4. Heartier woodier herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage are stronger in flavor and need to be chopped well and can withstand longer cooking times

5. Garnish! A sprinkling of herbs on top can make any dish pop on the plate!

Paula grows an abundance of herbs in her home garden, and some of her best cooking is done with herbs that she is able to snip just before adding to the dish.  Try some of Paula’s wonderful recipes celebrating the flavor of springtime herbs:

Lemon Tarragon Chicken Soup
Italian Potatoes
Easy Grilled Vegetables
Mint Iced Tea
Shrimp Scampi with Artichoke and Basil
Compound Butter

So, whether you are following specific recipes or simply sprinkling some basil on baked chicken, make fresh herbs you go to culinary secret of spring!

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

Hi Paula, love all your recipes and now that I no longer have a farm and we live in a little suburb, I grow only flowers, herbs and tomatoes. Your herb gardens are similar to ours and I wouldn't want to be without them. Thank you honey for being there for us. I hope you will have a new show soon and do hope that you will think about doing just that. I miss you very much. Love of family shows through everything you do and we all need you. God Bless, Bev

By Beverly on July 26, 2013

54321

Hey Paula, i love you and your recipes. i am orginally from the south and you remind me of my mother who i lost many years ago. you just seem like a good sweet loving southern lady. thanks for the great recipes and i love your website. you look great. keep up the good work. God Bless you and your family. Marilyn Joe

By MARILYN JOE on April 09, 2013

54321

Hey Paula, i love you and your recipes. i am orginally from the south and you remind me of my mother who i lost many years ago. you just seem like a good sweet loving southern lady. thanks for the great recipes and i love your website. you look great. keep up the good work. God Bless you and your family. Marilyn Joe

By MARILYN JOE on April 09, 2013

54321

Turkey carnberry cupcakes sound good I love them. And I love you paula deen. you are a nice lady.

By Donna marie Eichhorn on March 25, 2013

54321

i wish i could hug you....

By elizabeth clarke on March 23, 2013

54321

I love your website Paula, and watching you on tv. I hope to meet you one day. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and your family. Nancy

By Nancy on March 22, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm