Cooking Vegetables with Herbs – Confused?

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Pairing vegetables with the right herbs can take some practice and using a non-complementary herb with a vegetable can really ruin an otherwise delicious dinner.  When you go through the trouble of cooking a delicious meal you don’t want to destroy your efforts by using the wrong herb. Here is a list of vegetable and herb pairings that have stood the test of time and can change a bland-tasting vegetable dish into something amazing.

Vegetables and Herbs Combinations

  • Asparagus-tarragon, basil
  • Beans (green or shell)–sweet marjoram, summer savory and sweet basil
  • Beets –dill
  • Broccoli –sweet basil, sweet marjoram and oregano
  • Brussel Sprouts-caraway, sweet marjoram and parsley
  • Cabbage –fennel fronds and seeds, sweet marjoram, tarragon, thyme
  • Carrot-bay leaves, cilantro, chervil, dill fronds and seeds, chives, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, tarragon, cumin, sage and thyme (Did we leave anything out? It’s hard not to combine well with carrots)
  • Cauliflower-sweet marjoram, tarragon
  • Corn –marjoram, sage, dill seed, parsley, savory and thyme, basil and rosemary
  • Eggplant-basil, bay leaves, chives, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme
  • Green bean-tarragon, dill, marjoram, basil and thyme
  • Onion-parsley, dill, basil, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme
  • Peas –thyme, chervil and mint
  • Peas-basil, chives, mint, marjoram, tarragon and dill
  • Potatoes – chives, parsley, basil, mint and sage
  • Spinach –chives, rosemary, basil, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano and thyme
  • Squash (orange)-thyme, basil and rosemary
  • Squash (yellow)-basil, parsley and oregano
  • Tomatoes-basil, bay leaves, chives, dill, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon and thyme.
  • Potatoes-chives, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, and thyme

Here’s a wonderful recipe from All Recipes for an herb roasted vegetable dish. We make this all the time at home and it’s the only way I prepare vegetables where my three boys devour and ask for more. You can really add any type of vegetable and use prepared blends of herb mixes (Italian, Lemon Pepper, Cajun, Herbs de Provence, and others) with a little bit of flavored oils (or plain). There are a lot of seasoned salt blends too. Here’s the recipe from All Recipes. What I like about this recipe is that there’s really no rules and is a great way to use all those left over vegetables at the end of the week. The roasting brings out their natural sweetness and it’s one of those dishes that you just cut, mix and put in the oven—quick and fast.

Vegetables combined with herbs make a bland vegetable into a wonderful side dish at any meal. Whether you are using fresh, frozen or canned vegetables their flavor will develop and improve with the addition of herbs. If using fresh herbs (yum!) you can use less than you would with dried herbs. Just be careful not to use too much of the dried herbs because they are more condensed than fresh and can easily overpower the flavor of vegetables.

When adding herbs to vegetables you don’t just add more flavors, but make your vegetable dishes more nutritious too. A healthy diet is one with a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods. Adding herbs to your vegetables makes an already nutritious side dish even more so.

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