Aromatic herbs are part of popular culture and have the ability to enhance the flavor of each food without masking it, giving recipes a special touch.
Aromatic herbs give wings to the creativity of every cook and a small amount is enough to complement and intensify the flavor of a dish. One of the great pleasures of those who are passionate about cooking is having their own pots with fresh herbs or a good supply of dried plants, but the important thing is to have them on hand to enjoy the Mediterranean aromas.
11 aromatic herbs
Originally from Sardinia, it is highly appreciated by Italians who eat it fresh in pasta dishes and salads and combined with tomato, aubergine, or zucchini. It is the main ingredient of the pistou soup, a typical Provence dish, and of the famous pesto sauce, which is prepared with basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts, and a pinch of garlic. It also combines very well with chicken and rabbit meat. We recommend the recipe for pumpkin gnocchi, pesto, and tomato.
The fresh leaves are best shredded and added at the last minute since if we chop or cook them too much, their intense flavor fades. On the other hand, if we use the dried plant there is no problem and it can be incorporated from the beginning of the cooking.
use: it has antispasmodic, digestive, and stimulating properties.
Its flavor is reminiscent of onion, but it is much finer and more delicate. It combines very well with eggs (especially omelets), potatoes and tomatoes, and being so thin and green, it is very well cut small and spread over creamy soups. When it dries it loses almost all its aroma, so it should always be used fresh and raw because when heated it loses its vitamins.
use: it is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, it stimulates the appetite and its spicy point promotes good digestion.
Its appearance is very similar to that of parsley, although it has a totally different flavor. It is an essential ingredient when making guacamole, mojo Verde, or mojo picón.
use: it has digestive and purifying qualities, as well as a stimulating effect on the nervous system.
It is perfect for preparing vinaigrettes and goes perfectly with salads, eggs, chicken, and shellfish. And with the tarragon vinegar, an excellent mayonnaise is made to accompany potato salad. It can be used both fresh and dry, mainly to highlight foods with a poorly defined flavor.
use: promotes digestion and is a great diuretic.
It is the usual companion of fish, for example, with sardines or salmon. A delicious and easy recipe is to boil crayfish with water and plenty of fennel sprigs. Additionally, the dried herb can be added to soups, salads, and fillings. It is collected wild and the hotter it is, the more fragrant its perfume is.
use: it is diuretic and digestive and is frequently prescribed against flatulence.
The bay leaf is ideal to flavor soups and broths and also to prepare sauces that need a long cooking time, especially those made with meat, poultry, and game. It is also added to fish broths, and remember that the leaves must be removed before serving. We recommend the recipe for marinated salmon with avocado and rice.
use: relieves heavy digestion, prevents heartburn, and reduces gas. Likewise, it is recommended for the conditions of the respiratory system.
Absolutely refreshing, mint never loses its aroma, whether fresh or dry. It is common to add it to salads, sauces, roasts, and stews, such as cuttlefish with peas or beans with mint. And, of course, the famous tea so typical of the Arab countries.
Medicinal uses: it is a magnificent tonic, which stimulates digestion, improves gastritis, and helps in liver and gallbladder dysfunctions.
use: it stands out for its toning and digestive properties and taken as an infusion, it helps to combat the discomfort of colds and respiratory tract infections.
It is the best pair of garlic and its use dates back to the times of the Greeks and Romans, who used it as a basic ingredient in many sauces. For example, in the Catalan sting (which is prepared in a mortar by chopping garlic, parsley, toast, almonds, and a little broth or wine) or in sauces to make pasta.
use: diuretic, distinguished by its content of calcium, iron, manganese, and vitamins A and C.
It is usually always used dry because it is difficult to acquire it freshly harvested. You can find it at Veritas and it is fabulous for roast meats, lamb, game, and fish. Italians often combine it with rice. We recommend the recipe for lamb with fennel and rosemary potatoes.
use: it is indicated for liver and digestive conditions, like rosemary honey.
Along with parsley, basil, and rosemary, sage is one of the most widely used aromatic herbs in Italy. They sauté it in butter to make a sauce that is served with ravioli, and its fresh leaves (cut or minced) flavor meat, poultry, and game sauces.
It is practically essential in traditional meat and chicken dishes. It also goes very well with rosemary and bay leaf, and many people add it to tomato sauces.