Herb and spice blends are real time savers in the kitchen, whether you make your own (much cheaper) or buy them. Recipes below
If you feel you wouldn’t use the more obscure leftover herbs & spices for anything else, you can always buy a blend then customize it to your taste. For example, buy an Italian blend and add extra basil, hot pepper, lemon zest and/or garlic.
Make sure you smell your herbs and spices before you use them. They should be fragrant. If not, they won’t add anything to your blend or your dish except some twiggy texture.. Buy a new supply from somewhere there is a high turnover. I get mine from a local store, Head Nut and mail order, from Penzey’s. This is a good thing to do with a friend or neighbor. You share the cost and you replace them faster so your supply is fresher.
Don’t store your herbs and spices near the stove or oven or where they would get sunlight; the heat dissipates the fragrant oils and substantially reduces their shelf life. You can store extras, if you buy more than will fit in your cute little spice bottles, in the freezer.
What herbs and spices do you use the most for day to day cooking? Mix them together for your own special blend or you can try one of my favorite blends. All my blends are salt free.
Herb and Spice Blends
- 2 T basil
- 1 ½ T oregano
- 2 tsp garlic
- ½ T Aleppo pepper or 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- ½ T thyme
- ½ T rosemary
- ½ T fennel seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients. I know, really difficult directions. Use with chicken, in pasta sauce (not just tomato), with olive oil as a dip for bread, in meatballs, on fish, etc
- 1 ½ T thyme
- 2 tsp savory
- ½ T basil
- ½ T fennel
- ½ T lavender blossoms*
- ½ T rosemary
Combine all the ingredients. Use with beef, lamb, chicken, vegetables.
* Do not omit this ingredient. It is integral to the blend and what I feel makes Herbes de Provence, Herbes de Provence.
This blend uses a blend as an ingredient
- 2 T savory
- 2T sage
- 2T thyme
- 4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 T five spice powder*
- 1T rosemary
- 1 T onion
- 1T marjoram
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tsp green peppercorns
Combine all the ingredients. Obviously use with chicken or turkey, but this is adds so much to beans. Add a tablespoon to a pound of beans.
* Five Spice powder is an Asian blend made from star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and pepper. If you don’t have this, substitute 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice
This is a middle eastern blend. You can find it at Penzey’s. I would add some marjoram and/or savory to the blend if you happen to have it. Add about a tsp of either or both.
- 2 T thyme
- 1 tsp marjoram and/or savory
- 2 T sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 T sumac
Combine all the ingredients. Use with fish, pork, lamb, vegetables. Use in the Salmon Citrine recipe