Having a full pantry is important, especially if you love to cook for the entire family. Herbs have become pantry staples since they make your food smell and taste better and even help you accomplish recipes from your favorite celebrity chef.
The question is, what herbs do you have to keep in your pantry? Buying every herb there is on the market is an expensive practice and highly impractical. Keep it simple and just make sure that you always have the following herbs in your pantry:
Coriander leaves have a deep, potent aroma that spices up a room. This herb is mostly used in Indian, Chinese, and Mexican dishes, but can also be used for Italian cuisine. They are best used fresh since they improve the smell and flavor of the dish.
Coriander is a great staple for your pantry because it can be used to garnish your dishes, adding a bit of presentation to your meals. The best way to use coriander is to chop the leaves then sprinkle them on your salads, pasta, and enchiladas. As a garnish, they enhance the flavor of the dish without overpowering your palate.
Most commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, the basil leaf has a pleasant and distinctly spicy aroma and a piquant taste, a perfect combination for dishes that need more pizzazz.
Basil can be used either fresh or dried, making it a favorite among chefs. Keeping a pot of fresh basil in your kitchen not only spices up your kitchen décor but also gives you a new ingredient to liven up your dishes. It goes well with chicken, salads, pasta, pizza, cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, duck, and a lot more.
Known for its fresh aroma and distinct zesty flavor, parsley is a popular herb for European and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a versatile herb, enhancing not only the flavor of the food but also the aroma of the dish.
As a garnish, parsley adds color to your food whether you use the sprigs or chop it finely. Storing fresh parsley in your kitchen also gives you an additional salad ingredient since shredded parsley goes well with potatoes, tomatoes, rice, meatballs, and marinades.
Thyme has a pungent flavor and smell so using it can take some time getting used to. Dried thyme leaves are recommended since fresh leaves wilt faster.
Dried thyme retains the flavor of the fresh leaves and is best used on beef, lamb, and fish. However, you have to be careful when using thyme because too much can be overwhelming on your taste buds; just make sure that you follow the prescribed amount in your recipes. You can store dried thyme leaves in airtight jars or plastic containers and place them in a cool, dry place.
Other pantry herb favorites are rosemary, oregano, and mint. Keeping herbs in your kitchen gives you quick and easy solutions to enhancing your dishes without going to the store.