These aromatic plants not only add flavor to almost any recipe, but they also help improve digestion. They are easy to find fresh or to grow at home.
The coriander is used green leaves and ground dry seeds. At first glance it looks like parsley and its scent is only shown by chopping or rubbing it between your hands. The taste is somewhat spicy.
It gives a very refreshing touch to recipes and also stimulates the appetite.
- How to use: It is traditionally used in Latin American, Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine for salads, sauces, vegetables and cold dishes, but it quickly loses its flavor when heated, for example in marinades of foods that are later cooked. It is the special seasoning for guacamole and green mojo.
A relative of garlic, its slim, hollow, deep green stems and its pronounced, sulphurous and pungent taste make it a highly desirable item in the kitchen, even if only for decoration.
- How to use it: It is usually used fresh at the last moment of cooking and as an ingredient in sauces, lightly cooked vegetables, salads and soups. It can be purchased freeze-dried or the whole or cut stems can be frozen at home.
A basil pot is easy to care for in a window and provides, in addition to protection against mosquitoes, a pleasant flavor reminiscent – depending on the variety – of lemon, lime, anise or camphor, although floral notes already dominate. Tarragon. The young leaves are more aromatic and floral.
- How to use: When crushed it preserves the aroma better if it is done in a mortar. It is used in pestos and pistos to accompany pasta, vegetables and potatoes. It goes well with tomatoes and cheeses. Once cut, keep it in water like the stem of a plant, out of the fridge.
It can be used fresh but, like many other aromatic plants, it is also common to use dried tarragon, which is easier to obtain. Its flavor is peculiar, similar to anise, although more marked, and it awakens the appetite.
- How to use it: It is used in classic French cuisine to make sauces such as béarnaise, which we can veganize by substituting the egg for tofu and black salt and the butter for tahini. It is also part of the traditional blend of fine herbs with which creamy recipes are flavored. Although it is widely used to flavor meat and fish, it can also give a great touch of flavor to vegetable cuisine and is delicious with potatoes. It is also used to flavor vinegars: the chosen vinegar, if stored covered and in a dry place, is perfumed in a week.
Its seeds, its stems and its leaves are used. The stems are tough, and the leaves are delicate and feathery. It comes from Southeast Asia but became very popular in Northern Europe, where it is used with salmon and marinated fish, but also in cold sauces and pickles. It has a sweet taste, with fresh, spicy, citrus and green notes.
- How it is used: In oriental cuisine it is used almost as a vegetable in rice dishes and stews. It flavors creams, cheeses and baked goods, and with its seeds – stronger in flavor – pickles and aromatic vinegars are prepared. Although fresh is better, dry or lyophilized is easily found.
The marjoram is related to oregano, but its flavor is milder, fresh green with a floral touch.
- How to use it: It is used in herbal mixtures, especially in the bouquet garni, an aromatic bouquet that perfumes stews, pasta and dairy desserts. The branches of the bouquet are introduced at the beginning of the cooking; if the leaves are chopped, in the end. It is best collected at the beginning of flowering, when it has more volatile oils. Small amounts of outer leaves are collected, leaving the center to grow, or bunches are cut to hang in a cool, dry, airy place.
There are two varieties of savory: white, with a coarse and strong flavor, and hyssop, softer; both have a slightly warm and spicy flavor reminiscent of oregano and thyme, and sometimes mint.
- How to use it: Only the ripe leaves are used to flavor vegetables, legumes –especially beans–, salads dressed with vinegar and olives. It should be used at the end of cooking well chopped to release its flavor. The plants must be chopped with a sharp knife so that the flavor, the fresh tone and the color are maintained for a longer time.
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