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Seasoning with Fresh Summer Herbs

Contributed by Ann Martin

Many of us foodies grow our own herbs and can truly enjoy the knowledge that fresh herbs make a distinct impact when in any dish. Dried herbs and seasonings can be used in a pinch and sometimes in a few recipes, dry is better. But for summer drinks and dishes, using fresh herbs makes it all the better. Here are some ways to incorporate and season with fresh summer herbs.

Beverages and Cocktails Using Fresh Herbs
Why not impress your guests by presenting them with a beverage or cocktail using fresh herbs? Sounds fancy doesn’t it? Well, it tastes even better. Here are a few beverages in which fresh herbs would be the perfect accompaniment:

  • Blackberry-Mint Julep
  • Raspberry Lemonade with Mint Springs
  • Sparkling Water with Basil and Lemon Verbena
  • Lemonade with Thyme
  • Watermelon Basil Margaritas
  • Olive Rosemary Martini

Dressings, Marinades and Rubs Using Fresh Herbs
Infusing oils, vinegars, dressings, and marinades with fresh herbs takes each recipe to whole new level. Don’t settle for store bought products, when you can create your own masterpieces at home. Most dressings, marinades and rubs essentially need just a few key ingredients and can be customized according what fresh herbs you have on hand.

Appetizers Using Fresh Herbs
Here are just a few delicious appetizer ideas using fresh herbs:

  • Homemade Flat Bread Pizza – here you can use fresh basil, oregano and thyme. These spices compliment mozzarella deliciously.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms – opt for fresh sage, thyme and parsley
  • Steamed Clams – use lemongrass, fresh coriander and basil

Main Dishes Using Fresh Herb
Main dishes are usually accompanied with fresh herbs, but mostly they are used as garnishes. However, take a look at the following dishes that truly take on using herbs as a main ingredient:

  • Stuffed Pork Tenderloin – fresh thyme and parsley can be brought together with onions, bread crumbs mushrooms, eggs and cream to make a delicious herbed-center pork tenderloin.
  • Risotto Primavera – use fresh chives as a main ingredient to totally turn this dish around.
  • Linguini with Fresh Parsley and Basil – accent this simple dish with fresh herbs in a lemon-based sauce.

Desserts Using Fresh Herbs
Yes, you heard right. Even fresh herbs can be carried over into dessert. Here are a few delectable desserts which use fresh herbs:

  • Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • Homemade Spearmint Ice Cream
  • Strawberries and Whipped Cream and Mint
  • Grilled Apples and Rosemary
  • Lemon-Thyme Pound Cake

As you can see, by thinking outside the box, you can transform your herbs into a delicious treat.

Ann Martin is a freelance writer for Dinnerware Center, which specializes in dinnerware, tableware and flatware such as the Noritake and the Oneida Flatware sets. Ann is also a contributing writer for other home-related websites. When Ann is not working, she enjoys spending time with her children and scrapbooking.

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