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Old 05-27-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
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Dried herbs/Fresh herbs

I know what I like, but there are always newbies here, and I'd like to know which herbs you find acceptable dry (we don't all live in places where you can have fresh year 'round) and which are "don't bother".

Personally, I don't bother with dried basil or parsley. They don't taste anything like the fresh. Heck make that they don't taste at all, to me.

On the other hand, dill, oregano, sage and thyme are just fine, in some cases better, dry.

Bay leaves are weird. To me they actually taste stronger fresh than dried!

All a matter of opinion, feel free to disagree!

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Old 05-28-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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I definitely agree with you re: dried basil, parsley, & bay leaf. Not worth using. To those I'll also add dried tarragon, which dissipates so quickly that unless you plan on using the whole jar within a month or two, it's worthless.

Not a big fan of dried dill, especially since supermarkets carry the fresh year-round, but oregano, sage, & thyme are definitely terrific dried, & as you mentioned, frequently superior in dried form. Marjoram is another herb that is excellent dried.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
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Agree with dried basil and parsley. My solution to having perpetual supply of fresh parsley is to use curly-leaf parsley, wash and dry it, chop it up finely, store in a container, and stick in the freezer. Every time a recipe calls for chopped parsley, I just use a fork to scrape off some frozen parsley directly into the food. Perfectly green color and fresh flavor is retained. No more throwing out of wilted unused parsley.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:12 AM   #4
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In general I only prefer fresh herbs and sometimes I dish out big bucks to get them in off season.

To me here are the ones that are acceptable dried:

Rosemary
Thyme
Oregano
Mint

The ones that are absolutely not:

Cilantro
Parsley
Basil
Dill

I can't imagine them adding any flavor to the end product so I would skip it rather than use it for the heck of it.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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How funny, basil is one herb that I don't mind dried. I'm not going to use it in pesto that way, but I have issues with fresh basil so I have accepted that dried is likely my best option.

I loathe and despise dried rosemary unless its ground into poultry seasoning. I don't mind fresh though.

Dried lavender is ok in sachets, but fresh is LOVELY for cooking with.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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I do dried parsley and basil

I have an herbed bread/roll recipe that calls for dried parsley and oregano and really needs both those dried herbs.


and one of my favorite pasta recipe is to cook pasta, saute onion in olive oil, add a liberal amount (1/4 c.+) dried basil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

I make my own pesto and have lotsa fresh basil, but dried basil is always in my cabinet.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:44 PM   #7
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I get whatever I can :) I have a herb garden, so I like fresh when it is available, but when I cant, fresh herbs are just too expensive for me ^_-. I do like the taste of fresh for most herbs.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Hmmmm... I can't reproduce your name, don't know how to do pictograms. Florida (where I lived for 6 years, and where my family lives, now) was not easy for some herbs. It would get way to hot for many herbs, they'd "bolt" before you would get more than one meal's worth. Here I have to contain mint-related herbs or they'll take over the entire garden (i.e., various kinds of mint, and lemon balm is one of them). When I lived in Florida it was difficult to get mint to live through the summer at all.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
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I don't expect dried basil or parsley to taste like they do fresh, but I think they have their uses - I mix dried basil with flour, S&P to make a dredge for pan-fried fish that's really good. And I have a recipe for Lebanese kibbee (spiced ground beef patties) that calls for dried mint.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree - in general, the woody herbs are good dried while the soft-stemmed herbs not so much. To preserve a lot of basil, I whir them in a blender with water and freeze in ice-cube trays. They go great into soups and sauces during the winter. I also make a lot of pesto and freeze it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #10
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@ Claire: Really? I grew some mint a while ago and it took over half my yard o_o. I live in Spring Hill, so it's a little cooler than the rest, but not much :)
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:06 PM   #11
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Dried vs. Fresh

Like many things, it would depend on what I'm making. Fresh basil, mozzerella, and tomato salad, I want fresh. In a rub or marinade, I prefer dried.

For herb breads, I like dried. For salads, fresh is yummy!

I do love fresh cilantro in salsas, but there are soups I have where the dried just seems to turn out a better product.

Go figure.

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 杰里米亚 View Post
@ Claire: Really? I grew some mint a while ago and it took over half my yard o_o. I live in Spring Hill, so it's a little cooler than the rest, but not much :)
It would take over my yard, too. I keep my mint in a strawberry jar on the patio, so it's contained.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:28 PM   #13
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I have 2 huge (24" diameter) pots of mint in my garden. As long as I keep it trimmed it cant escape. I use fresh herbs in the summer and into fall then switch to dried for the late winter and early spring, unless something specifically calls for fresh.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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I had a tough time growing mint in the area in FL where I lived. I could grow it under the faucet, in the shade. My sister loves mint and cannot get it to live. Different parts of Florida have hugely different soils and climates. Where I lived it was very sandy soil, so it dried out very quickly, and it burned easily. I don't think my sister ever succeeded in growing a crop of it (I lived just south of Daytona, Sis lives in Orlando). Here I can't keep it under control.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:42 AM   #15
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I much prefer fresh herbs for everything, but I do dry some of my crops each summer, especially of savory, tarragon and Greek oregano, because they don't do very well over the winter here. I use dried lavender flowers for my Lavender Caramel Ice Cream.

Parsley, I grow in the herb garden, but it's never enough. However, around here, flat leaf parsley is available in even the sparsest of produce sections, so I can always pick that up. Fresh basil, as well.

I'm not a cilantro-lover, so I don't even think about it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:24 PM   #16
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Hmmm ... didn't there used to be a line here about vegetable/herb gardening? Well, I couldn't find it.

I put in a couple of fennel plants. This is so silly. when I lived in Florida, I once picked up a couple of something near dead fennel plants at a nursery. I don't think I paid for them, they were that dead. I stuck them in a mostly shady area of my square-foot garden. One day a friend who is an excellent chef (never been pro, but did own a gourmet grocery store for a few years) called me and asked me if the Publix near me might have some fennel root, since I lived in a more 'upscale' neighborhood than he. I just started laughing (he was making dinner for us) and told him I had two beautiful ones in my garden ... and really didn't know how to cook it! I was afraid to experiment on my own family because too many don't like a licorice flavor. I got over my (and hubby's) Fear of Fennel, but now when I actually buy a plant (or seeds) it doesn't form a root. Anyone have any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? It is a very, very successful herb garden overall.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:33 PM   #17
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I think of fennel as as much a vegetable as an herb. I've never tried to grow it, because I think my planter boxes are not deep enough for the roots. It's so similar to celery.

imho, there's no particular rhyme nor reason to why some plants "take" and some don't, and some plants "take" some years and not others. Itt's the Garden Devil!
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:49 PM   #18
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Claire - first off, there are two different types of fennel - neither of which forms a "root".

The first "Fennel", which comes in both green & bronze colors, is grown for the stalks & seeds only. It's used as a flavoring herb.

The second, "Florence Fennel", is grown for the large bulbous stem that forms at the base of the plant just above the soil line. This is the variety that's grown & used as a vegetable, & the one you frequently see in the markets.

Unfortunately, most nurseries just mark plants as "fennel", without distinguishing type, & nine times out of ten, it is the herb fennel & not the vegetable or "Florence" fennel. Next time you decide to give it a try, buy from a reputable source & make sure you're getting "Florence" fennel.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:11 AM   #19
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Yeah, I do know it isn't a root. It is just the best way I know to describe the vegetable. I didn't, though, realize that there are two types of fennel. Now I do. Thank you. I won't bother to buy seed or seedlings now without finding out what I'm buying.

Yes, I do know that sometimes gardening is an "aw s**t" proposition. I've done some degree of gardening in Florida, Hawaii, and Illinois, and window/balcony gardening in Virginia, AND lived in a trailer on the road for 3 years, and had a big pot of herbs. Some things I thought would never survive thrived. Some things that should, didn't (I can't grow a squash to save my life, on the other hand, I've thrown cucumbers away by the dozens).
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:40 AM   #20
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I've never grown the bulbing Florence type because I only cook with it occasionally, so I just buy it at the market.

I have grown the herbal type, however, & it's very impressive as a background plant in an herb garden. Can reach a very regal 5' in height. The bronze-colored variation is particularly striking. While I've never harvested the seeds, the foliage makes a nice flavoring stuffing & the stalks make a nice grill "bed" for whole fish & poultry.

The plant is also a hose for Swallowtail butterflies & attracts other beneficial insects to the garden. :)
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