You'll often hear many cooks and chefs who preach that fresh is best. While this is true in many cases, you don't always have to rely on an herb garden to infuse your dishes with flavor.
See below for when to use fresh herbs, when dry is okay, andhow to substitute if you didn't pay close enough attention to your spice rack.
Soft, tender herbs are best when fresh. Fresh herbs have a bright pop that is best garnered when finishing a dish. This way, you preserve the bite and delicate flavor they can provide.
The best herbs to use fresh:
If you're going to use dry herbs, you'll want to add the during the cooking process, so they have time to infuse their flavors throughout the dish. They works best in low-and-slow dishes, like a stew or braise. But make sure to avoid working with anything that's too stale. If you can't smell your herbs when you open the jar, toss 'em. It will do no good to add them to your food.
The best herbs to use dried:
- Bay leaf
THE HERB-Y RATIO
Let's say you forgot to pick up some fresh basil at the store, or you, for some reason, only have fresh oregano, even though your recipe calls for dry. Fear not, remember this ratio and you'll never have to fret.
1 (dried) : 3 (fresh)
So if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (about three teaspoons) of a fresh herb, then use 1 teaspoon of the dried variant.
On the other hand, if your recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of a dried herb, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh.
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