Green spices are very diverse in aromas and forms. Their advantage is to emphasize the taste of food. They are obtained from a variety of plants whose leaves, stems, outer layer, buds or flowers can be used whole, ground or chopped to add flavor to all kinds of dishes. Smell is a very good quality indicator of fresh and dry spices.
The spices add no fat, no salt and no real calories to the dishes. Dried versions are more widely used because they are the most affordable. When working with them, put less because the flavor is more concentrated than that of greens. For example, if a recipe calls for you to put 1 tbsp. of fresh chives, put 1/2 tbsp. dried.
Most dried spices are added at the beginning of the dish. In contrast, green spices are good to add at the end of cooking. However, if you use green spices in dishes without heat treatment such as salads or sauces, it is good to put them in before serving the portion, so that their good qualities develop.
When buying green herbs, make sure their color is even from the tip of the leaves to the end of the root. Leaves and stalks must be healthy, free of wilting, spots and traces of pests. Store them loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag to retain moisture and reduce wilting, label them and keep them in the refrigerator at 2 to 4°C.
Common Green Spices and Their Uses:
- Basil - in salads, with tomatoes, in egg dishes, fish, lamb, pizza and bread;
- Bay leaf - in soups, in stews, with meat, with seafood, with vegetables;
- Chives - in soups, salads, dishes with fish, chicken, potatoes;
- Wild onions - with eggs, in soups, with fish, chicken, potatoes;
- Dill - in soups, pickles;
- Coriander - in soups, salads, in Mexican cuisine, with mussels and crustaceans;
- Marjoram - with meat, sauces;
- Mint - in sauces, soups, desserts such as chocolate souffle and panna cotta;
- Oregano - in sauces, with meats, with vegetables, pizzas;
- Parsley - as a side dish, in dishes with potatoes, rice, meats, soups;
- Rosemary - with meat, in Mediterranean cuisine;
- Tarragon - in French cuisine, with chicken, in dishes with eggs, with fish;
- Thyme - in pork dishes, in stews, in traditional soups, with tomatoes.
Also read how to store green spices and how to grow spices at home.