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Herbs! Fresh? Or dried???

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Often debated is whether to use fresh herbs or dried.  While fresh herbs are commonly thought of as higher quality (they are!) and dried herbs are thought of as lesser, I think dried herbs still have their place.  The major cooking difference is you always want fresh herbs added to a recipe later in the process and dried herbs added in the beginning.  Fresh herbs tend to “cook out” if added too soon and their flavor becomes less potent, and the whole reason for using, and paying for fresh herbs is their pure, more intense flavor.  As one of the first chefs I worked for once told me, dried herbs, by contrast, generally need three things to bring out their flavor, time heat and moisture, and in that order.


So how do you know when to use which???  Again, while all cooking philosophy’s are general, I would use dried herbs in soups, sauces, roasts (to make a rub) and things that cook for a while. Things such as dressings, marinades, salads, crab cakes, things that don’t cook or cook fairly quickly.,

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1/2 ounce basil, fresh, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3/8 ounce garlic, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
black pepper
kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard


Combine all ingredients except oil, salt and pepper. Slowly add in oil. Season with salt and pepper. I use an upright blender, but a food processor will work as well

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