Cooking Herbs


This week’s share will include a cooking herb, such as oregano, thyme, or parsley.

OREGANO
One of the most popular herbs used to flavor spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and of course, pizza, oregano has a distinct fragrance and aroma.  It is also used in the preparation of chicken, fish, soups, omelettes, sauces, and pickling.  Try adding fresh chopped oregano leaves to a green lettuce salad.
Store fresh leaves in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator.  Or wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and place in the refrigerator.  Use within a few days for best results.

THYME
One of the most familiar cooking herbs, thyme is often used within soups, stews, sauteed or baked vegetables, custards, and casseroles.  This herb gives the food a warm and tangy flavor, and retains its strong flavor even after cooking.  It is also used in dressings and marinades.
To store, wrap the stems loosely in plastic wrap and place in the door compartment of the refrigerator.  Avoid wrapping them tightly, as trapped moisture may cause the thyme to mold.  For this reason, many people add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard.  Rinse the herbs just before using.

PARSLEY
Many of us are used to thinking of parsley simply as a garnish on the side of our plates.  Some of you may be surprised to learn that not only does it offer us wonderful flavor and rich color, but also outstanding nutrition!  Extremely high in vitamins A and C, it is also high in minerals, especially iron.
To store, simply wrap parsley in a damp towel and refrigerate in the hydrator drawer.  Or place it upright in a container with an inch of water and refrigerate.
To prepare, rinse under cold running water and blot dry.  Add it into a green salad with your other greens.  Try chopping it into your chilled pasta or vegetable salads.  It adds a beautiful color to stir-fries; to retain the color, flavor, and nutrients, remember to add toward the very end of cooking time.  Fresh parsley is an excellent flavor addition to soups or stews.  Again, it is best to add it toward the end after cooking is completed.  And don’t forget to add fresh or dried parsley to your homemade tomato sauce, for spaghetti or lasagna.  Finally, if used as a garnish, eat it at the end of your meal–it will serve as a breath freshener!

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