As the holiday season kicks in, it is time to put on the apron and turn on the oven. The end-of-year celebrations come with a bright and festive atmosphere and tons of delicious foods and treats. This year try to make your favorite recipes with a little twist and try out one of these herbs. With their opulent and versatile flavor, these seasonings will enhance the taste of your dish, turning it into a real feast for the senses.
Rosemary is a much loved herb and an absolute must for the holiday season. According to the folklore, the greenery will bring happiness for the upcoming years to anyone who smells it on Christmas Eve. The aromatic herb is traditionally used as an ingredient to the roasted chicken and potatoes. You cannot go wrong with this piney herb. Rosemary will give your festive dishes unique and rich taste. Plus, it comes with a number of incredible health benefits. The greenery contains antioxidants that are beneficial for the cancer control. Studies have shown that rosemary can boost your mood and mental activity. You have all the reasons to turn this herb into your winter gardening project. Pick appropriate containers and start planting. You can use it to highlight the flavor of your classic holiday recipes or as a centerpiece of your dinner table.
Sage is a traditional herb found in a lot of holiday dishes. The perennial evergreen has woody stems, grayish leaves and blue to purple flowers.With its strong flavor and fragrance, a little goes a long way, especially if you are cooking with dried leaves. Sage will add special flavor to the pasta and the poultry. A little known fact is that the herb may help improve the memory of people diagnosed with Alzheimer. If you enjoy growing herbs, then sage is the perfect greenery for you. The plant is easy to care and allows both indoors and outdoors gardening.
A cup of hot peppermint tea will not only warm up your heart during the winter, but it will also help you with any stomach issues. The green herb can sooth symptoms related to bad indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome, making it a great choice after a big meal. So if you eat up too much of the roasted turkey and the tasty desserts, boil some water and make a peppermint tea. With its fresh, light flavor, the herb is suitable for a wide variety of holiday recipes like mint chutney, pea and mint soup, chocolate mint syrup and cream cheese mints. Take advantage of this amazing greenery even during the cold months by planting peppermint in containers inside your home.
Thyme is another member of the mint family. The greenery comes in many varieties, both wild and cultivated. The popular culinary seasoning is a good complement to most meats, slow-cooked dishes, stews and even some desserts like apple and thyme tart. Thyme is best fresh, but you can get it freeze dried. You can combine it with other herbs like bay and parsley. Because of its robust nature, thyme can withstand long cooking. It works great in the stuffing for poultry and lamb or in marinade for olives. These evergreen herbs can be also used in dried flower bouquets, arrangements and potpourri during the holidays.
Oregano is an essential for every kitchen. The pungent flavor of the herb pairs well with different foods, from vegetables and lamb meat, to egg dishes and stuffing. You can find it in many Mediterranean recipes. The herb grows best in well protected areas, making it appropriate for indoor gardening. The balsamic flavor of oregano goes well with potatoes, chicken, omelets, frittatas and salads. Add a few springs of the herb in mushrooms and onions sauté. If you use fresh oregano, add it at the end of the cooking process. The reason is that the heat can eliminate the delicate flavour of the herb. The greenery is rich in nutrients, vitamins and fibers.
Parsley is a multi-purpose herb that can be used as garnish, seasoning and as a vegetable. There are two main types – flat leaf and curly leaf. Although both can be used for the same purposes, the first variety has stronger flavor. Parsley can serve as an ingredient in almost any savory meal. You can use it generously in soups, sauces and fresh salads. The stews and stocks can also be chopped and cooked or deep-fried and used as a complement to chicken, fish and veal.
Surprise your family and friends with something different on the Christmas table this year. Add a tinge of imagination to the classic holiday meals with these fresh and healthy herbs. Be sure to have one of these stunning herbs in your festive menu this year!