Herb Information and Tips
French Tarragon-These herb plants are sinfully aromatic with a scent redolent of sweet anise and flavor akin to that of licorice. French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen, but is never grown from seed as the flowers are sterile; instead it is propagated by root division. Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and is particularly suitable for chicken, fish and egg dishes.
Garlic Chives also known as Chinese chives. Unlike the tubular leaves of chives, they have thick, flat, blade-like leaves, the part most often used in cooking. Garlic chives have a delicate garlic flavor and are used extensively in oriental dishes. Garlic chives are a good choice for those who shy away from full-flavored garlic. Use garlic chives as you would regular chives. Popular uses are salads, soups, and garnishes.
Parsley-While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this herb has more uses than just being a decorative garnish. Parsley is actually a storehouse of nutrients and that it features a delicious green and vibrant taste.
Herb Conversion: 1 tsp. dried=2 to 3 tsp. fresh
Keep fresh herbs in the refrigerator. If they are dirty or sandy, rinse them gently just before using them. Wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag, herbs stay fresh for several days. You can freeze herbs whole or chopped, without blanching; if you wash them, be sure to dry them thoroughly.
Drying Fresh Herbs
- Bundle the herbs into a bunch. Tie a rubber band around the stems of the herbs. Any flowers on the herbs should face downward.
- Put the herb bundle upside down in the paper bag. Gather the ends of the bag around the bundle and tie closed. Make sure the herbs are not crowded inside the bag.
- Select a suitable drying hanger. All sorts of items can be used to hang herbs from, including ladders, ceiling beams, coat hangers, a nail, etc.
- Leave to dry. They should be dried away from direct sunlight and moisture or they will spoil. Drying can take from 5 days to a few weeks, depending on the herbs you’re drying.
- Remove when dried. The herbs are dried when they become crisp and no moisture can be felt.