Everybody’s talkin’ about the herb

August 26, 2015

Photo Credit: Foodstander Parke5

So here we are at the end of August, a transitional period when summer crops are in the last of their glory days, and winter and fall crops are still a little way out. Hot days, slightly cooler nights. What keeps our mouths watering and tastebuds intrigued during these times of change? Herbs! And what’s the one thing that almost everyone has the ability to grow, even if your city apartment barely has enough room for your clothes? Herbs!

We eagerly anticipate summer days with fresh basil leaves in our salads and on our tomato toasts. And we all long for those cozy winter nights with rosemary and thyme roasted meats and potatoes out of the oven that can’t help but smell like the holidays.

There’s nothing more tragic than an herb garnish on a plate at a restaurant that goes uneaten and is tossed in the trash. While some of the most widely used ingredients, herbs are often overlooked, seen as a garnish as opposed to a central component when the herb’s flavor is often what makes a dish.

So it’s time for herbs to be the stars of the show, whether it be in Elana Amsterdam’s Lemon Basil Cookies or Alison Roman’s Lime-and-Cilantro-Stuffed Black Bass. Herb-centric recipes are everywhere, and should celebrate the stuff that keeps flavors popping, all year-round.

To Grow

Sun. Good soil. Water. Sun. Good drainage. Sun.

To Store

…Delicate herbs: Trim off the ends and place them in a jar with an inch or two of water at the bottom (think bouquet of flowers). Cover the top of the herbs with a plastic bag and secure the bag to the jar with a rubber band before placing them in the fridge. (This is a great way to recycle your farmer’s market plastic bags!)
…Woody herbs: Wrap them in a damp paper towel, then seal your bundle in plastic wrap before placing it into the fridge.



Photo Credit: annefood

With over 160 varieties, basil is extremely versatile. It is used in cuisines from many different countries including India, Thailand and Italy! Your coconut curry and bruschetta do have something in common after all!





Photo credit: Johannyc

A member of the allium family (check out the beautiful flowers!), chives are related to onions, garlic, and leeks, among others. Give them a try if you’re looking for something slightly more mild.






Photo Credit: the kitchn

Does chervil look like carrot tops? That’s because it’s a member of the carrot family! Try delicate chervil in an Omelette aux Fines Herbes, as it is delicious with eggs.




Photo Credit: annefood

Savory and sweet! Mint is the most commonly used herb in desserts, but it plays a significant role in the dishes that come before, as well. Try making a mint sauce with red wine vinegar, shallots, garlic and olive oil to serve on grilled lamb chops.




Photo Credit: annefood

The ultimate herb for infusions! If you’re feeling adventurous, make lemon verbena ice cream by soaking the fresh herbs in your ice cream base. Or for a quick fix, make tisane by soaking the leaves in hot water for an after-dinner decaffeinated tea.


Photo Credit: annefood

A classic herb in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon’s strong flavor can stand up to the richest of flavors. But don’t let that fool you, as tarragon is also perfect for a fresh dish like salmon. Just check out the recipe below!


Roasted Herbed Salmon

Photo Credit: Foodstander blog Anne food.

I suggest serving the fish with a simple green salad dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. And if you need a little extra heartiness, quinoa makes a great side dish. Or try some steamed baby potatoes tossed with extra vinaigrette from your salad. Or a crusty piece of bread.


2 lbs wild salmon fillets, skin-on
1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
3 tablespoons dill, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place a shallow pan of water inside (it helps keep the fish moist).

Mix the shallots, herbs, lemon zest, and oil together in a small bowl.

Rub the salmon fillets with EVOO and place skin-side down in a Pyrex baking dish. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then top the fillets with the herb mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

Place the salmon in the oven with the pan of water, and roast for approximately 15-25 minutes depending on thickness of fish. To see if it is done, check between the flakes- the center will still be slightly translucent.

Serves 5-6

Featured Herb Recipes from Foodstand Posts!

Wondering how to make that inspiring post you saw on Foodstand?
Here are your fellow Foodstand friends with their recipes!


Cucumber Basil Avocado Soup

Homemade by rawbox
This recipe is super fast and easy to make!


1 ripe avocado
1 cucumber
2 small bunches of fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
2 scallions
2 cups filtered water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced


Blend the ingredients until smooth with a few specks of green.


Salade Niçoise with Parsley-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Homemade by Mokalocks
This is my take on the traditional salad niçoise. I make it with seared tuna, quinoa instead of potatoes and I take the anchovies out of the salad and incorporate them into the dressing by making a parsley-anchovy vinaigrette.


½ cup of quinoa
100gr of Kalamata olives
A big handful of green beans
8 tomatoes, sliced (I used a mix)
3 soft boiled eggs
300gr of fresh tuna
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Lemon pepper (optional)
Cayenne (optional)
For the anchovy-parsley vinaigrette:
5 tablespoons of chopped parsley
8 anchovies, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar


Cook the quinoa first. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Then start making the vinaigrette. You can place all of the ingredients in the food processor and just pulse until you get your desired consistency. Or you can just chop the parsley and anchovies together. Then place them in a jar with the rest of the ingredients, cover with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies.  Set aside until ready to use.

Sautée the green beans in a pan with some olive oil, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt and black pepper. Do this until they become tender- crisp.

Place the eggs in a pot with boiling water and boil them for 7 minutes.

To sear the tuna, just season it with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne. Pour a bit of olive oil in a pan, over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot; just place the tuna and sear it for a few seconds on each side. This is where you want to be quick turning it, because it cooks pretty fast (Unless you want it well done).

Once the tuna is seared, transfer it to a cutting board and thinly slice it.

To plate up, divide the quinoa into 3 plates. Add the green beans, black olives and tomatoes. Then add the soft boiled eggs sliced in half, the tuna and finish by drizzling some of the vinaigrette.

More Herbs around Foodstand!

Fired up my grill today: grilled white corns dressed up with a homemade buttery smear of queso fresco, herbs and spice, topped with crispy prosciutto crumbles.

Ingredients: Sweet white corn, fresh cilantro, fresh thyme, queso fresco, prosciutto, mayonnaise, butter, smoked paprika

Posted by: Createlicious



Zucchini herbed coconut yogurt curry ‘majjige huli’

Ingredients: Zucchini, plain yogurt, coconut, summer squash, fresh cilantro

Posted by: ChitraAgrawal



I love the colors of fresh food!

Ingredients: microgreens, herbs, balsamic vinegar, olive oil

Posted by: Sarah_Phillips





Squash salad with sunflower shoots and herb dressing at Contrada.

Posted by: andie

You Might Also Like